Lovely little town. Lots to See.

Lovely little town. Lots to See
Browsing the visitors book in Abingdon County Hall Museum there were a number of comments written in characters that appear to be from Asia.

In 2019 the estimated population of China was 1,420,062,022. India was 1,368,737,513. India will soon overtake China. Both are about 20 times more populous than the UK.

One comment in the book has been translated “Lovely little town. Lots to See”.
Lovely little town. Lots to See
MG is now owned by a Chinese Company and so the MG exhibits could be of interest.
Lovely little town. Lots to See
There is a rich history of wood carving in China and India so visitors could be interested in the carved mirror.
Lovely little town. Lots to See
The building itself and the painted staircase are very striking to any visitor. There will be a new temporary exhibition from 11th January called Mr Hemmings Hat & Other Curiosities – celebrating 100 years of Abingdon museum’s collections.

1 Comment January 9, 2020

Some upcoming events in Abingdon

Whats On
There have already been individuals out litter picking at places such as Lodge Hill, and next Saturday will be the first Abingdon group litter pick of 2020.
Whats On
Share a poem is tomorrow (8th January). The Topic (voluntary) is New Year & New Beginnings. Pauline Sykes has been leading this group for many many years.
Whats On
Abingdon Drama Club present Snow White from Jan 10th to Jan 18th at the Unicorn Theatre. Kennington Amateur Dramatic Society are performing Cinderella from Jan 24th to Feb 1st at Kennington Village Centre.
Whats On
The Berkshire Family History Society ask ‘Was Your Ancestor a Gypsy?’
Whats On
The Abingdon Carbon Cutters talk about Low Carbon Travel. And Abingdon Library have a Language Cafe where you can either ‘improve your spoken English with friendly people’ or ‘Have a conversation in another language.’
Whats On
Roger Thomas will be looking at some of the discoveries made in recent years as part of the archaeological surveys that happen before new housing is built.

2 Comments January 7, 2020

Star Tavern – excellent supper

A Star for Epiphany
On 24th April 1847 the Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette reported “The Mayor’s Court Leet Jury inspected the weights at the shops and warehouses of the various tradesmen in Abingdon, which, with a few exceptions, were found correct.

In the evening the jury and a party of friends partook of an excellent supper at Mr. Joseph Emmens’s, the Star Tavern. The health ot his worship, the Mayor was drank in a bumper.”

Mr Emmen managed the Star Tavern from some time before 1823 to some time after 1854, according to Kelly’s Directories in Abingdon Library. The Star Tavern also functioned as a tobacconist and hairdresser. (Picture is part of a 1857 Print by John S Austin – Oxford Architect – All Rights Reserved.)
A Star for Epiphany
If the Star Tavern was still standing today it would be in front of the DaleBoot UK sign and entrance, and would hide the view of the TSB.

According to Abingdon Borough records from 1888, trees were planted where the Star Tavern had stood. The Star, and the pub over the road, had been demolished to allow Stert Street to be widened into a main road.

* Epiphany is celebrated 12 days after Christmas on 6th January and remembers the arrival of the wise men, who followed the star to find Jesus. Why I did a blog post about a lost Abingdon star.
* Court Leet was a court for small offences. Such courts went on to check standards in sales of food and drink.

Thankyou to The british newspaper archive for the news story about the Star Tavern.

5 Comments January 6, 2020

The Street with the most names in Abingdon

Queen Street
Queen Street, in Abingdon, is pictured here from level 7 of the Charter Car Park.

Queen Street is a back lane providing the delivery entrances to shops on Bury Street and Stert Street. Hedges the Butcher is the only shop now to have a customer entrance down Queen Street. There used to also be a fitness studio. There are also some offices.
Queen Street
The thoroughfare got the name Queen Street in Victorian times – being the side entrance to the Queens Hotel. It ends in a medieval-looking passageway to the Market Place, where the Queens Hotel once stood.

According to John McGowan’s book ‘The Origins of the Street Names of Abingdon’  it is not really a street but a lane. He says ‘It is one of the ancient thoroughfares of Abingdon and has had more names than any other street in the town: Ottwelleslane… Bryanneslane… Schoelane… Crab Lane… Workhouse Lane… Otwell Lane… and Queen Street’

1 Comment January 6, 2020

Turning Off the Christmas Lights

Last of the Christmas Lights
Today town council staff were recycling Christmas Trees on Abingdon Market Place.
Last of the Christmas Lights
The large Market Place tree usually gets chopped up and recycled on this Saturday. But not this year. It still stands there before the County Hall.
Last of the Christmas Lights
The Christmas Lights are still on this evening in town. It could be their last night. Or that could be tomorrow.
Last of the Christmas Lights
The dripping lights along the High Street have been impressive this year.
Last of the Christmas Lights
There have also been lots of ice cream cone decorations about the town centre.
Last of the Christmas Lights
The Candles on the Market Place have been there for about fifteen years, and should get a longevity award.
Last of the Christmas Lights
Bury Street were the first to turn their lights on, and could be the last of the Christmas Lights to be turned off this year.

4 Comments January 4, 2020

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