Swan Uppers at Abingdon Bridge

In the video above the Queen’s men, and the Vintners and Dyers teams, make a toast to the Queen at the end of the five day annual swan upping census.
Swan Uppers
The census ends at Abingdon Bridge where a crowd had been waiting in the rain.
Swan Uppers
Some people found places to shelter during the wait.
Swan Uppers
There is no set time for their arrival. It takes as long as it takes and the swan uppers arrived at about 5:30 pm. They had caught  and inspected 147 swans (if my hearing is correct) and that meant they were kept busy.
Swan Uppers
They deserved their drop of rum after all their efforts to count and maintain the swan population.

Leave a Comment July 19, 2019

Kingfisher Canoe Club Try a Boat

Try a Boat
Here are a few pictures from Dave showing the Kingfisher Canoe Club Youth Section at TryaBoat night where there was a great turn out
Try a Boat
For reasons well known in the local community, the last 2 years have been extremely difficult for the club. Their “home” has been restricted to the two temporary box trailers at the lock.
Try a Boat
Dave says thanks to all the general public who have supported them through these difficult times. There Is light at the end of the tunnel.

6 Comments July 18, 2019

John Mason School wreath laying for Abingdon soldiers

Abingdon commemorates
As part of their French course work at John Mason School, a party of students are on a three day visit to the Dunkirk and Boulogne areas of Northern France.
Abingdon commemorates
Their first stop was to visit the Operation Dynamo museum. They then made pilgrimage to the Commemorative Memorial by the beach.

During their course work it became evident six soldiers from Abingdon died during the operation to evacuate 330,000 troops from the beach head in May and June 1940.
Abingdon commemorates
At the memorial their teacher gave a brief description of each of the six soldiers after which two of the students, Megan and Chloe, laid a wreath and six named crosses on behalf of the teachers,staff and students of John Mason School.

Thankyou to Steve for this report.

5 Comments July 17, 2019

Abingdon Swans could avoid the 2019 Upping

Abingdon Swans
The traditional Swan Upping will arrive this Friday in Abingdon. It is the annual census and inspection and ringing of the swans led my the master of the Queen’s swans.
Abingdon Swans
There are a family of  six cygnets, mum and dad, who can be seen on the River Thames in Abingdon.
Abingdon Swans
They could escape being upped if they stay near Abingdon Lock as the swan upping normally ends at Abingdon Bridge.
Abingdon Swans
The swan upping is partly ceremonial but does include a number of scientists who want to study what is happening to the swan population year by year.

8 Comments July 16, 2019

Getting rid of geese from the Abbey Meadows

Christine emailed me saying …

Please can I suggest that you turn your lens and wise words on Abbey Meadows, specifically the play and picnic area around the lido, children’s fountain and small cafe kiosk. The area used to be a popular picnic area and was always full of families enjoying a meal or playing. For the last months it has been virtually deserted as the whole area is thickly crusted with goose poo ! I don’ t think, in all the years we have lived in Abingdon we have seen so many geese, of several varieties, and so many goslings as this year. The authorities have banned dogs and there are cattle grids to keep them out but the goose droppings and feathers especially all over the concrete of the fountains, are a bigger health hazard as well as being unsightly. A cull is needed at best or, if that is too contentious, then encouraging the geese to go elsewhere.
Getting rid of geese
I went down there this evening when a group of Canada geese were just leaving and the area was thickly crusted with pooh, and even some pooh was around the interactive water feature.

There is a notice to say ‘do not feed the geese‘. However geese love eating short grass and the grass is kept very short here. One solution would be to allow the grass to grow long. Or replace it with artificial grass. Both ideas could have a down side.
Getting rid of geese
Dogs love to chase geese but as Christine says they are not allowed in this area, and could not be expected to patrol overnight in any case.

Could the Vale of White Horse District Council do a cleanup then find some way of keeping geese away 24X7 until September .

Are there any goose epidemic experts who can help?

20 Comments July 15, 2019

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