Chinese Brush Painting in the Community Free Space

Chinese Brush Painting
For Chinese New Year (Tuesday, 5 February) a lovely window display was put up in the Community Free Space by the Oxfordshire Chinese Brush Painting Group, many of whom live in Abingdon. The display is still there a week later.
Chinese Brush Painting
Anybody interested in one of the oldest and most beautiful of artistic traditions in the world can join the group.

The Ashmolean museum in Oxford has a dedicated gallery for Chinese paintings with changing exhibitions. It currently has a centennial exhibition for the Hong Kong artist Lui Shou-Kwan. Then the Oxfordshire Chinese Brush Painting Group will have an exhibition at Oxfordshire Artweeks.
Chinese Brush Painting
The Chinese display is likely to be the last in the Community FreeSpace’s present premises. FreeSpace has been in its present location for over 5 years, but because a commercial tenant has been found for that unit, it will shortly be moving, probably to the empty unit next to the British Heart Foundation shop. The space is provided rent free by the Shopping Centre landlords and is managed by the Friends of Abingdon to provide a “free space” for community groups and not-for-profit organisations to demonstrate and promote their activities. If all goes to plan there will be another spectacular window display in the new premises at the end of February.

Leave a Comment February 11, 2019

Brexit in Abingdon

Brexit reaches Abingdon
The UK voted to leave the EU on 23rd June 2016. Abingdon voted to remain but had to go with the majority view. The alluring ”Take Back Control” slogan of the leave campaign won the day.

The two year process to leave the EU was triggered on 29th March 2017. There followed lengthy negotiations between various UK Brexit secretaries (who resigned one after another) and Michel Barnier (for the EU). An agreement was brokered between the UK government and the EU involving the UK paying a £39 billion divorce settlement – not a subject mentioned in the leave or remain campaigns.

On 9th January 2019, the House of Commons, including the Abingdon and Oxford West M.P., Layla Moran, voted against the agreement for a variety of reasons. Layla Moran wanted a People’s Vote. Brexiteers and the DUP MPs said they did not like the Northern Ireland backstop. Since then parliament and the government and the EU have been going round in circles, not re-negotiating the backstop.
Brexit reaches Abingdon
People campaigning for a People’s Vote were on the Market Place yesterday in Abingdon. The People’s Vote sayWhen it becomes clear there is no Parliamentary majority for any Brexit option, the only way forward will be a People’s Vote.’

On the other hand Leave means Leave campaigners say, ‘The Government must chuck their Chequers proposal – which if delivered would amount to Brexit in name only – and instead seize the opportunities of a World Trade Deal.’

Both sides are still working hard to influence pubic opinion and politicians as the clock runs down towards March 29th 2019.

28 Comments February 10, 2019

Abingdon Baptist Church – Re-dedication and cakes

Abingdon Baptist Church - Rededication
Just over a week ago the builder handed back the keys to Abingdon Baptist Church after an extensive re-ordering of the interior.

Last Sunday church members returned to worship there, and today (9th February 2019) there was a special re-dedication service.
Abingdon Baptist Church - Rededication
The church building downstairs was packed, and the large balcony almost full of people.

On the civic side there was the Mayor of Abingdon, Chairman of the Vale, and Councillors, two of whom are church members.

There were ministers and people from other Abingdon churches, and past baptist ministers including Revd. David Fleming who now serves in Luton. David Fleming spoke about the early vision of reordering the church. Revd. Dr Paul Goodliff, and the present minister, Revd. Steve Millard, then described how the plans had come together and been carried out.

To re-dedicate the church, and give an address, was Revd. Lynn Green – General Secretary of the Baptist Union of Great Britain.  She remembered being a student minister at Abingdon Baptist Church around 1992-3. She said a church could be like the Tardis in Doctor Who. It may look old fashioned and irrelevant on the outside, but inside it was bigger and so much more amazing.
Abingdon Baptist Church - Rededication
Back in 2015 the outside of the church was painted from sky blue to the grey colour required by English Heritage. Solid doors were replaced with glass doors to make the building more open.

The church then closed in 2018, and builders brought a digger to dig out the old floor and baptism pool.

During that process some old bones were discovered. The police were interested until they turned out to be 200-year-old Abingdon baptists. They were reburied after an archaeological investigation.

The church building has been made into a space that can be used for future generations, and the community. The floor and the stage, and baptism pool were remade. Walls were made good so the big crack is gone. Pews were replaced with more comfortable flexible seats. There are some cinema style seats in the balcony – the best seats in the house. The interior is now bright and light. Lots of new cables have been laid to allow the latest and future technologies.

After the re-dedication service, tea and coffee and cakes were served.

6 Comments February 9, 2019

St Edmund’s Chapel

St Edmund's Chapel
I am away from Abingdon for a couple of days but have found something of Abingdon interest in the form of an old leaflet, dated 1990, from a charity shop in Cumbria. It is a 20p Visitors Guide to St Edmund’s Chapel, Dover.

The small chapel, build in 1252-3, somehow survived the centuries before being restored between 1966 and 1968. In 1544 St Edmund’s Chapel and other nearby properties were surrendered to King Henry VIII and it stopped being used as a chapel. Other buildings were built about it and it got forgotten, until its significance was rediscovered in 1883. During WWII two shops that hid it from view were destroyed during a bombardment but the chapel building survived. It even survived the 1960s redevelopment of the area thanks to the efforts of a local priest.

The chapel website has a lot of detail about the chapel dedicated to St Edmund of Abingdon, far more than the leaflet.

There was also a chapel dedicated to St Edmund of Abingdon, near St Edmund’s Lane in Abingdon, but all record of that has vanished.

19 Comments February 7, 2019

Abingdon 100 years ago

Abingdon - 100 years ago
Thanks to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette for the following news from Abingdon 100 years ago in February 1919. ( © Successor rightsholder unknown. All Rights Reserved.)

1st Feb 1919
The Abingdon Prisoners’ of War Committee entertained the local returned prisoners of war and their friends at the Abingdon Corn Exchange, on Thursday evening last. The hall was gaily decorated with flags, and mottoes. The festivities included a substantial meat tea, followed by an excellent entertainment. The caterer was Mr Hathaway, who provided a large iced cake inscribed ‘Welcome to Home Sweet Home.’ The number of men entertained was nearly 50, and each was asked to bring a friend.

8th Feb 1919
Abingdon - 100 years ago
The North Oxford concert party gave an entertainment in the Abingdon Corn Exchange, on Thursday last, in aid of St. Dunstan’s Hostel for the Blind. The programme was an excellent one, but there was a limited audience.

Abingdon Philanthropic Society has just issued the balance sheet for the past year, which shows that with £31 1s 2d. brought forward from last year, £7 8s 10d. from interest and investments, and £37 11s 6d. donations and subscriptions, the total receipts were £76 1s 6d. Grants to applicants were £l6. £20 was placed to deposit account, and the expenses were 8s 4d. This allowed the sum of £30 to be carried forward. The report of the past year stated in reference the grants applicants that it is obvious that the continued high rate of wages and army pay the Society’s mission of relieving cases of distress amongst the industrious and meritorious poor has been somewhat limited, but heavy claims on the Society’s funds are anticipated on the return of more normal times.

The Milton Red Cross Hospital is about to be closed for renovation but if military necessities prevail after the work is completed Mr and Mrs Mortimer Singer will again give up this beautiful residence in continuance of hospital work, but otherwise intend occupying themselves.

The Nag’s Head public house on the Abingdon Bridge, which has been closed for some considerable time, and belonging to the Governors of Christ Hospital, had its license opposed by the Captain of the Salvation Army at Abingdon, Mr Dowse. The Abingdon County Bench renewed the license.

15th Feb 2018

The annual meeting of the Abingdon Fire Brigade was held last week at the Fire Station, Mr W. M. Coxeter, Chief Officer, presiding. The balance sheet, produced and adopted, showed that with £73 5s 1d brought forward, the annual subscription of the Abingdon Corporation of ten guineas, and sums from insurance companies, etc. gave the total receipts of £103 0s 4d. The expenditure was £16 13s 3d, leaving a balance of £86 8s 1d. The report mentioned that the Brigade had four calls during the year, one of which was outside the town. The staff was three officers and ten firemen, with two others serving in the Army.

An inquest was held at the Abingdon Union on Monday, before Mr Coroner, on the death of John Lamer, an inmate. It appeared from the evidence that another inmate found the deceased on the lavatory floor on Sunday morning dead. Deceased, who walked with crutches, had slipped up and thereby hurt his head.
Abingdon - 100 years ago
At the County Bench in Abingdon the following school attendance cases were heard :- Robert Lardner, Botley, was fined 5s in respect of his daughter. Charles Lewington, Hinksey, was summoned in respect of his three children. P.C. Martin said when he delivered the summons the defendant said’he kept the children at home because he had pawned their clothes to get food. The case was adjourned for a month.

Sgt. Harry Parker, son of Mrs Parker, West St. Helen Street, was named in Sir Douglas Haigs despatch of December 28th as worthy special mention during an engagement on that date. Pte. George Sparrow, son of Mrs Sparrow, 159, Ock Street, Abingdon, has been awarded the Military Medal for bravery shown on August 24th in engagement near Boiselle. The medal of O.B.E. has been conferred on Mr Albert Trinder, a postmaster, son of Mr Alfred Trinder, 198, Ock Street, Abingdon, for courageous conduct during a fire which broke out in a military camp shed in which live bombs were stored.
22nd Feb 1919

Pte. Fred Buckle, Royal Berks, son of Mr and Mrs Benjamin Buckle, of West St. Helen’s Street, Abingdon, is reported to have died whilst a prisoner of war in Germany. The number of Abingdon men and lads who have lost their lives during the war is considerable, 23 whose homes were in one street alone – West St. Helens Street, and six of those from one small court.

The Abingdon Cottage Hospital report for the past year, just issued, states that the sum of £500 was received under the will of the late Miss Hyde, formerly of Abingdon, which has been invested in war loans. Alexandra Days, Abingdon in 1917-8 brought in £40 and £72 respectively. Another bequest falls to the hospital under the will of the late Miss Hutching, of Harwell. The in-patients during the year were 74, 18 of which were accidents. The total receipts from bequests, offertories, donations, etc., with £33 brought forward, amounted to £1,186 1s. 6d., and the expenditure £590 10s.

Abingdon - 100 years ago
The funeral of one of the victims of the sinking of H M.S Penarth, which hit a mine off the Yorkshire coast, took place at Abingdon Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon of last week. The deceased was Thomas George Taylor, officer’s servant, son of Mr and Mrs James Taylor, West St Helen Street, and had been in the Navy three years. There were several floral tributes and deceased was carried to the grave by sailor lads, the coffin being covered with the Union Jack. Several returned prisoners of war, and other sailors and soldiers on furlough attended the funeral service, and the Last Post was sounded by a bugler.

 At the Abingdon Borough Police Court on Tuesday, three Abingdon lads were summoned for letting off fireworks in the public streets, on Saturday evening last. Defendants pleaded guilty, and were dismissed with a caution.

The Abingdon Horticultural Society have decided to hold the Abingdon Flower Show this summer, which was discontinued during the war. It is however, this year to on a modified scale in comparison with pre-war shows, and August 21st is the suggested date.

Thanks to the British Newspaper Archive for the stories and the Dunstan’s Cigarette advert and Abingdon hat images. The Berkshire school attendance medal is being sold on Ebay. The gravestone is on Wikipedia.

13 Comments February 6, 2019

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