Archives – June, 2015

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme Consultation comes to Abingdon

Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme Consultation
There has been a lot of flooding in Oxford recently. And so the Environment Agency, with funding from councils, are aiming to create a flood relief channel to the west of Oxford from the Botley Road to Sandford on Thames.

A few miles downstream from Oxford is Abingdon. So Abingdon has been included with Kennington, and a few venues in Oxford, to get this first consultation before design work starts. If you missed it there will be another consultation later in the year after design work is done.
Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme Consultation
Consultants wanted to assure the Abingdon public, that although the relief channel would allow River Thames flooding to reach Abingdon sooner. the water levels would not go any higher (using their flood modelling techniques) or they would have to go back to the drawing board. They also wanted to pick up some local knowledge, and so were glad to meet with local flood groups.
Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme Consultation
The only risk with their outline scheme, that I could see, is that Abingdon normally gets flood water from the River Ock and River Stert first, and then from the Thames a day or so later. What will happen if these different rivers are at their high point nearer the same time?

3 Comments June 25, 2015

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting – 24th June 2015

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting
There was a meeting of Abingdon Town Council this evening.

During the first half hour of the meeting everybody flicked through a book of committee papers with very little discussion. Then, in the second half hour, of the short meeting, the public and press were excluded in order for the council to discuss the “commercially sensitive” Guildhall redevelopment. Press Release tomorrow.
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting
Reading the book of committee papers afterwards, I see the 2015 hanging baskets and flower containers have been planted.

There has been a request for an extra dog bin on the Tithe Farm and Ladygrove Estate which the council are keeping under review in case dog poo does become a problem.

100 trees have been ordered for the Spring Gardens Cemetery to replace trees which were diseased and chopped down.

A request for pre-WWI names on the Abingdon War memorial has been denied.

Names for the new roads in the Drayton Road development will be from some of the first fatalities from the WWI Abingdon Roll of Honour. The first one mentioned is King Street.
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting
When the Guildhall closes, the Abingdon Visitor and Information Centre is to move, on 1st September, underneath the County Hall Museum.

Work is to be done on the cemetery chapels, and a tender for that work has been accepted.

The Mayor’s robe dating from 1956 is getting tatty, and a new one will be commissioned.
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council Meeting
I did see on the Town Council Information board that there is a consultation on the Oxford Flood Alleviation Scheme tomorrow at the Guildhall.

P.S On the subject of Dog Poo the Daily Telegraph reports … “An east London council says it is poised to become the first in the UK to use DNA testing to track down owners who fail to clear up their dog’s mess … (read on here)

28 Comments June 24, 2015

Preston Road Jackpot

Preston Road Jackpot
There was a Jackpot payout of £200 at the final Bingo game this evening at Preston Road Community Centre.

There were about 40 people playing this evening. The modest profit made by bingo helps to keep the centre going, and is an evening out for people locally.

The local councils (Town and Vale) are generous in giving grants that allow the centre to fit new fire doors when the old ones get too rickety, new sliding partitions to insulate and soundproof the different areas, and to maintain and improve the fabric of the building.

But without dedicated trustees and other volunteers it would not work. Other Abingdon Community Centres are the same.

Leave a Comment June 23, 2015

Notag, Wildwood, and the National Chains

Empty Shops
Notag Fashions has recently closed. I read on the streetlife forum that the shop will be missed. It had some very loyal customers.
Empty Shops
There is a license application in the window of the empty shop at the end of the precinct for sale of alcohol from midday to midnight.Empty Shops
The application is for a Wildwood Restaurant.
Empty Shops
Not much has happened yet with the biggest unit in Bury Street – completed 2½ years ago. The perceived wisdom was that Abingdon needed bigger units to attract the National Chains.

33 Comments June 22, 2015

STAR POWER – 50 Years of Fusion Research at Culham

(The Sun image below was photographed by NASA’s Atmospheric Imaging Assembly. )
Today was Summer Solstice and the longest day. The Sun is powered by nuclear fusion reactions in which lighter elements, like hydrogen, release energy to form heavier elements, like helium.
A new exhibition, at Abingdon County Hall Museum, takes you behind the scenes, to learn about the history of research at Culham to try to set off fusion reactions here on earth, and  revolutionise electricity generation. The exhibition runs until 18 October 2015 in the Attic Gallery at the museum – see Star Power.
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of fusion reseach at Culham, and the exhibition tells the story of the Culham site, from wartime days as a naval airfield (HMS Hornbill) through to the many fusion machines that have been built over the years including the European JET project.

Up to now the energy needed to start the fusion reaction is more than the energy generated. But the next generation of even bigger fusion machines could bring star power down to earth.

P.S. The Culham researchers, in the big white building next to the A415 in Culham, have free Open Evenings most months, which can be booked at

3 Comments June 21, 2015

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