Archives – February, 2019

Guildhall Open Weekend

The Guildhall reopened today after a major refurbishment. There were guided tours, or you could look round on your own and read the information sheets left in each room. A lot of people were taking the opportunity to visit, and it all looked fresh and interesting.
Guildhall Open Weekend
Coffee was being served in the Roysse Room. Quite a few people said they remembered coming to a wedding there. The  yellow ceiling with ornate white stucco, and white walls make this a bright room.

To show that it was once a schoolroom there was Greek on the balcony, and a birch rod in a case at the far end, donated by Old Abingdonian scholars.
Guildhall Open Weekend
The new lift between the entrance and Magistrates Court worked well, but did need somebody to help open and close the lift gates and so does not seem to allow for full independence.
Guildhall Open Weekend
The Magistrates Court looked fresh and tidy, and smelled of furniture polish. There was the sound of creaking floorboards from the room above. A table was in the centre so this, like two of the other rooms, was being shown as a meeting room. There was some talk of it being an exhibition space, also of audio visual equipment. I expect it will be multi-purpose.
Guildhall Open Weekend
Upstairs, beyond any wheelchair access, the Bear Room had a shine on the table reflecting the grand window onto Bridge Street. There were paintings round the walls donated by Arthur Preston, the local historian and Alderman who was involved when the Guildhall was refurbished a century ago. He had documented things such as a hidden spiral staircase that came as such a surprise this time round, and appeared in the Herald.
Guildhall Open Weekend
The council chamber, in two shades of green, had tables with cloths and floral decorations. The grand paintings were of Kings, and a Queen, and famous men with Abingdon connections. There was also a painting of Saint Sebastian being martyred.
Guildhall Open Weekend
The Abbey Room, over the Abbey Gateway, had also been decorated with paintings, including one of John Creemer Clarke.

The connecting room and toilets were very modern looking in comparison.

Somebody said to me ‘All the rooms looked good. Something Abingdon can be proud of.’ Another person said ‘The room hire rates are reasonable‘. Another person said ‘A signal day for Abingdon‘. I would add that the information and tours were well organised.

I only heard one complaint and that is that the Tourist Information is not in the Guildhall yet. There is no clear direction for tourists in Abingdon to go to the museum where it is housed.

5 Comments February 16, 2019

Warm weather

There is no planet B
There have been three warm sunny days in Abingdon. It has started to feel like Spring is here a bit early. The sky looked so blue over the Guildhall and the new grass so green on Roysse Court. Which reminds me it is Guildhall Open weekend 10:00am to 6:00pm.
There is no planet B
More sunshine making a dazzle at Abingdon Bridge.

Some school children arrived back in Abingdon late in the afternoon, with a placard, after their school strike and big protest march in Oxford about the future of the planet. Looking at the reports there could have been 1500 taking part in Oxford, one of 60 marches. One slogan read ‘There is no Planet B’.

9 Comments February 15, 2019

How to heal a broken heart this Valentine’s Day

broken heart
Every February 14th the Abingdon British Heart Foundation (BHF) shop fills its window with red hearts. Each for a small donation.
broken heart
A lot of them are love notes but some of them are about beating heart disease. BHF are looking to mend broken hearts this Valentine’s Day through research such as stem cell heart ‘patches’.

There are also things to stop you heart getting broken in the first place such as not smoking, keeping to a healthy weight, and keep your blood pressure down.

Leave a Comment February 14, 2019

John Ruskin’s 200th Birthday

Last week we happened to be at Ruskin’s grave for his 200th birthday and there was a special service of celebration.
Ruskin's 200th Birthday
Today when walking in South Abingdon I remembered that there is a Ruskin Avenue in Abingdon. It is a small road between Gainsborough Green and Cotman Close, part of a painter’s theme.
Ruskin's 200th Birthday

The other link to John Ruskin in Abingdon is a Historic Building and can be seen on the town portal created by Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society”John Ruskin, the Victorian art critic and social commentator, made the Crown & Thistle his home for a period in the early 1870s, walking the 7½ miles to Oxford when giving lectures and visiting the university.”

27 Comments February 14, 2019

Oxfams in Abingdon’s 50th – reunion

Oxfams in Abingdon's 50th
Oxfam opened their first Abingdon shop in the High Street in 1969. They have been in their current Stert Street shop for over thirty years, after moving from over the road. They would be glad to hear from anybody who has volunteered at any of the three shops to arrange a reunion.

Leave a Comment February 12, 2019

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