Christmas will be different this year

As we head into Advent, the Churches in Abingdon have teamed up with Abingdon Town Council to promote a community wide sing of the carol Silent Night at 8pm on Thursday 17th December.  There will be a track released closer to the time to sing along with.

Catherine sent me a picture from the Fitzharrys estate to show that they have started a living advent calendar this year.

The countdown begins. Christmas will be different this year. The Christmas story is the same but society has been changed by a virus.

Last updated: December 03, 2020, 22:34 GMT
United Kingdom Coronavirus Cases: 1,674,134
Deaths: 60,113

Non-essential shops reopened – except those affected by a gas leak

Non-essential shops reopened today after the November ‘circuit breaker lockdown’ brought the ‘Covid-19’ ‘R level’ below 1. A Covid-19 vaccine was also approved by the UK regulator today.

Abingdon town centre did not go wild on what had been called ‘Wild Wednesday’, but we were able to see all the Christmas displays, illuminated, for the first time.

Here are a small sample:

Pablo Lounge

Gifts and Gallery

Forresters hairdressing

and The Finishing Touch

Not every business could reopen today. A deep hole had been dug in Bath Street to ‘track and trace’ a gas leak. As a result Abingdon Fish & Chips and Friends Kebab & Pizza were cordoned off and no traffic was allowed to the rest of Bath Street

Our town centre underground utilities are prone to leakages. Last week Lombard Street was shut for a couple of days because of a water leak.

Abingdon library reopened today. The library has a large local studies section. Not many towns the size of Abingdon has been the subject of so many books.

Kings Gate, Abingdon

Signs have gone up on the Dunmore Road housing development to show that the development is called Kings Gate. The last major development in Abingdon, Morland Gardens, had a Kings Street. King is a word that major developers must like.

Scott sent me this marketing link about the development. It will include a variety of 2, 3, 4 and 5 bedroom homes and be built by David Wilson Homes, a subsidiary of Barratt Developments.

There have been reports in the Abingdon Herald / Oxford Mail about the developer wanting to change the planning condition that stipulates that the ‘associated highway works, (including vehicle access, a footway/cycleway and pedestrian crossing facilities) shall be provided prior to the first occupation of any dwelling’. The developer would now prefer 30 dwellings to be occupied before the completion of the works, in order to assist with the delivery of the development. I can see that the Friends of Abingdon, Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council, and Oxfordshire County Council Highways have put in responses saying the stipulation was put in on grounds of traffic safety. The planning application P20/V2777/FUL has the details and all the responses.

Free parking days announced. Shops can reopen from December 2nd. Oxfordshire in Tier 2

The Vale of White Horse District Council are urging us to support local traders as they confirm the free parking days in the run up to Christmas. In Abingdon they will be the Saturdays (5, 12, 19 December) .

December 5th is also Small Business Saturday.

People were volunteering in one the charity shops today, decorating the window and getting the shop ready to open. Such shops will be permitted to reopen from Wednesday at 1am.

The rest of the winter will be uncertain for traders. There could be further closures.

Oxfordshire will be in the new tier 2 …