Abingdon 100 years ago – October 1920

A draft of the Abingdon (Borough) Roll of Service appeared in the North Berks Herald on October 23rd 1920, and was continued on October 30th. It asked for contributions to the War Memorial Collection to remember 214 Abingdon Men.
Abingdon 100 years ago

Abingdon 100 years ago
2nd October
The Abingdon Comrades of the War commenced a series of whist drives for the winter months in their Clubhouse, Ock Street.

The Abingdon new Jury lists contains the names of 70 women.

Harvest Festival Services were held Sunday last at St Helen’s and St Nicolas’ Churches when the congregations were large. The offertories were for the hospitals. Both Churches were tastefully decorated.

A match was played at Abingdon on Saturday in the Berkshire League between Abingdon and Wantage. The game was somewhat rough, the Abingdon goal-keeper being injured and a Wantage player disqualified and removed for striking an opponent player. The scores were Wantage 4, Abingdon 2.

Abingdon 100 years ago
9th October

The Michaelmas Fair was held on Monday and Tuesday, the first day being very wet. The chief attractions were the switchbacks and roundabouts. No hiring was done.

There was a very short supply at Abingdon Cattle Market in consequence of it being the Michaelmas Fair Day. Some eight or ten excellent beasts, however, met ready buyers.

The will of the late Councillor F. W. Matthews, corn merchant, of Bridge Street, Abingdon, shows an estate of the value of £13,184.

The death occurred on Thursday in last week, of Mrs H.T. Clarke, at the age of 50, the wife of Councillor H.T. Clarke, J.P of Wayste Court, Abingdon, after a brief illness. The deceased lady was highly respected, and her services in connection with the Abingdon Girl’s Club were of an energetic character. She was also an energetic worker for the Berks Voluntary Association during the war.

Abingdon 100 years ago
16th October

The Bishop of Reading and family’s departure from the Abbey House, Abingdon, to live at Bournemouth, is referred to in the Abingdon Church Magazine, and says ‘There must be many who regret that they cannot any longer associate the Abbey House with the venerable figure of the Bishop of Reading and his family. Advancing age (92) has forced him lately to keep much at home, but he was always ready to help. . . . The personal activity which he could not give, however, was contributed in full measure by his daughters.’

The Abingdon Cricket and Football Club has issued its annual report, which states that a great expense had been incurred to put the ground in order after the war, and the replacing of the tackle. This, the report says, has cost something like £70, and this with other items makes a deficit on the year’s accounts of about £90. An appeal is made to the general public to enable the Committee to meet the deficiency.

The Abingdon Runaway Fair was held on Monday last when the weather was very fine. The chief Michaelmas Fair the previous Monday was wet, and therefore this fair was more enjoyable, although the fair paraphernalia was much smaller in quantity.

On Tuesday an inquest was held by Mr B. Challenor, Coroner, on the body of Mrs Clara Vietch, a widow, for several years proprietress of the Queen’s Hotel, Market Place, Abingdon, who was found dead in the wine cellar the previous day. The assistant manageress (Miss Hetty Meades,) said the deceased stayed in bed on Sunday, she felt unwell, and on Sunday night the witness took the deceased the keys, when she seemed better. On Monday morning, when the witness got up, she found the door of the deceased’s bedroom open, and afterwards saw a light in the cellar. On going into the cellar the witness saw the deceased sitting on a box in a prone condition, and there was an empty brandy bottle above the deceased’s head and an empty glass by her side. The witness fetched another assistant, and found that deceased was dead, and then sent for doctor. Mr P. T. Martin, surgeon, of Abingdon, said he was called to the Hotel, and found Mrs Vietch dead in the cellar, as described by the previous witness. The body was quite cold. The jury returned verdict of ‘Death from natural causes, viz., syncope.’

Abingdon 100 years ago
23rd October
The Abingdon Bowling Club have decided to bring their bowling green in the Albert Park to the requirements of the English Bowling Association. The cost is estimated at £150, and the sum is to be raised by members’ loans of £1 each without interest to be repaid in the order of drawing the funds permit. The amount in shares has been already accomplished.

The Abingdon Michaelmas Fair tolls, which has been raised by fifty per cent, this year, realised just over £100,

Abingdon 100 years ago
30th October
An installation festival of the Abingdon Abbey Lodge Freemasons was held in the Abingdon Council Chambers on Thursday evening in last week, when Mr W. M. Coxeter, Ock Street, was elected Worshipful Master for the ensuing year. Besides the members of the lodge there were several visiting members present from other lodges and dinner was served in the Room, after the ceremony.

The Abingdon Cottage Hospital financial position has, it is stated, greatly improved this year.

At a meeting in the Abingdon Church Rooms last week a branch for Abingdon was formed of the League of Nations, the vicar of Abingdon (Rev_ A. H Kennedy) being elected president.

At the Borough police Court, Tuesday. – John Pullinger, Radley Road, Abingdon, was summoned for not obeying a school attendance order in respect to his son 12 years of age. The Bench now ordered the lad to be sent to an Industrial School in Birmingham till 16 years of age, and ordered the father to pay 5s per week towards his son’s maintenance.

Thank you for the news extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. The pictures of St Giles Fair and Abingdon Bowling Club are from Jackson’s Oxford Journal. The Roll of Service and adverts are from the North Berks Herald.

Every Poppy Counts

Building Work
Volunteers will be running a pop-up Poppy stall outside Abingdon’s Royal British Legion this weekend to ensure everyone who wants to, can donate and wear a poppy.

Alongside the traditional paper poppy, they will be offering 2020 and VE day pin badges as well as Remembrance crosses and even teddy bears.

100 poppy boxes have gone out to schools, churches and shops in the town. But like so many things this year, the Poppy Appeal has had to adapt to the threat of COVID-19. This means there will be NO poppy sellers on the street, doing house-to-house collections or at Tesco Extra or Waitrose.

Clare Oldfield, poppy appeal organiser, said: ‘Abingdon has always taken the poppy to heart raising some £200,000 in the past four years alone. The impact of COVID-19 has left some in the armed forces community in dire need of support and we need your backing more than ever because every poppy counts in the help it provides.’

The pop-up stall, which accepts contactless payments, will run outside the Spring Road club from 10am – 4pm on weekends from Saturday October 24 to Saturday November 7.

Poppies will also be available at:
* Costa Coffee
* Java
* R&R
* The Co-op
* Masons
* The Bookstore
* The One Stop shop on Wootton Road
* Budgens, Peachcroft
* The Royal British Legion
* The Conservative Club
* Trinity Church
* St Michael’s Church
* St Nicholas Church
* St Helen’s Church
* Ock Street church cafe

A dedicated Poppy Appeal page appears on the Legion website and can be found at www.britishlegion.org.uk/get-involved/poppy-appeal.

Earth movers on North Abingdon fields

Building Work
It looks like building work is about to start in the fields to the north of Abingdon. The earth movers are making a road to take lorries from the Wootton Road.
Building Work
There is no sign of the south facing slips roads on the A34. They are funded by this building work to try to prevent Abingdon’s local traffic getting worse.
Building Work
Here is a picture of the Drayton Road in South Abingdon at the weekend, where housing was put in without road improvements.

Reflections on Ock Street

Cars turn from Ock Street into Stratton Way, and are reflected in the shop window glass.

I stood watching until the traffic lights changed. The liquid amber trees can be seen beyond in The Square.
The Town Council have not yet said publically what form the remembrance ceremony will take. The big light-up poppies have been installed. Wreaths from the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII are still there at the war memorial.