Unicorn School Expands its Reach

The Unicorn School, Abingdon, has acquired the former Premier Inn and Ock Mill on Marcham Road, enabling it to double its pupil enrolment from 120 to 240 over the next few years. With over three decades of experience, the school specialises in supporting students with neurodiversity challenges, including dyslexia, dyspraxia, autism, and speech and language difficulties. The new facility will allow the school to offer a sixth-form program in the future.

The school will operate across both sites, with the new location requiring planning permission to transform the existing buildings from a hotel and restaurant into a school. The car park is already being utilised by parents for drop-off and pick-up.

For more details, please visit the Unicorn School’s website: https://www.unicornoxford.co.uk/news/?pid=0&nid=1&storyid=179.

Abingdon 100 Years Ago – November 1923

League of Nations Union Meeting

The local branch of the League of Nations Union held a meeting in the Abingdon Congregational Church School-room on Thursday evening to hear an address from Miss Stevenson. The Vicar of Abingdon presided and there was a fairly good audience.

Abingdon Cattle Market

There was only a moderate supply of fat cattle on Monday, and trade for the best quality was good, up to 60s. per cwt.; second quality was not in great demand, but all were sold. A good entry of dairy and store cattle met a good clearing trade. Sheep were scarce and dear, making up to £5 14s. A very large supply of calves, well over a hundred, sold readily at late rate. A good entry of pigs met a steady demand.

North Berks Agricultural Society Corn Show

In connection with the North Berks Society’s Autumn Show at Abingdon in September, a Corn Show was held in the Corn Exchange Abingdon, on Monday, October 29th. The entries were poor all round, there only being five entries in the largest class. The following prizes were awarded:— (class 62.—For the best ten quarters of red wheat — First prize, Mr. A. Cox, junr., Tithe Farm, Abingdon. Class 63.— For the best ten quarters of barley— First prize, Mr. F. Shrubb Shillingford; Class 64.—For the best ten quarters of spring oats — First prize, Mr. F. Shrubb., Class 65 —For the best ten quarters of winter oats—First prize, Messrs. W. E Bradfield and Son, Drayton ;

Abingdon Pavlova v Cowley Football Match

Cowley chartered three buses for their team and supporters to go to Abingdon on Saturday. The buses were all well-filled. Abingdon Pavlova F.C. had printed programmes on sale at their Amateur Cup tie on Saturday. The attendance was about 650, and the gate receipts just over £17. The Pavs have a splendidly-kept ground, and their admirable little covered stand — with seating accommodation for about 150 — was put up by the voluntary work of some of their members. The Pavs won the game and the third round was drawn on Tuesday. The four teams left in this district were paired as follows: — Abingdon Pavlova v. Reading British Workmen’s Institute. Slough v Morris Motors. To be played on Nov. 17th, kick-off 2.30 p.m.

Police Pensioner Dies from Suicide Attempt

A 60-year-old police pensioner, Thomas Henry Williams, died from pneumonial sepsis after attempting suicide on Saturday afternoon, according to an inquest.

Mr. Williams’ widow, who lives at 12a Marcham Road in Abingdon, said that her husband did not come home one night and she thought he was visiting their daughter. However, when she went to West Field Allotments to feed some chickens, she found the shed door unlocked and her husband lying on the ground inside. She spoke to him but received no reply.

Mr. Williams was taken to the Radcliffe Infirmary, where he was found to have cuts to his throat and arms. Williams had been invalided out of the London Police force 17 years before due to a head injury. He had been a popular policeman and was knocked unconscious during an arrest. He had left a letter saying he was very worried that his daughter and children were about to be turned out into the street. He said in the letter he had not slept for a week due to worry. The daughter had been told she could not keep lodgers or she might loose the house.

Missing Person

Mr. James Clack, a butcher from Abingdon, has been missing since Tuesday. Mr. Clack was last seen in the evening, and there is concern that he may have fallen into the river in the dark. In addition to police inquiries, the river is being dragged in the neighbourhood.

Rev. Maitland’s thanks for Sympathy During Illness

The Parish Magazine reports that the Rev. Maitland, who is now living at 8, Bevington Road, Oxford, wishes to express his thanks to the people of Abingdon for their sympathy during his illness, which required surgery on his throat. He is able to talk much better now.

Unemployment Figures

The unemployment figures for the Oxford Employment Exchange and branch offices on November 5th are as follows:

Abingdon: 101 men, 1 boy, 19 women, total 121
Banbury: 601 men, 61 boys, 83 women, 28 girls, total 671
Bicester: 110 men, 2 boys, 4 women, total 116
Buckingham: 32 men, 2 women, total 34
Chipping Norton: 92 men, 1 boy, 8 women, total 101
Deddington: 36 men, 1 woman, total 37
Oxford City: 474 men, 47 boys, 207 women, 78 girls, total 806
Thame: 74 men, 2 boys, total 76
Winslow: 27 men, 1 boy, 8 women, total 36
Witney: 96 men, 7 boys, 11 women, total 114
Woodstock: 11 men, 4 women, total 15

General Election Called

A general election has been called and will be held on December 6th, 1923. The Conservative member for the Abingdon Division of Berkshire is Mr. A. T. Loyd, who held the seat last year by a narrow majority of 540 votes. Mr. A. E. Lessing is expected to stand in the Liberal interest again.

Fur and Feathers Show – High Quality Rabbits Exhibited

The North Berks Fur and Feather Association held their first winter table show on Saturday. The quality of the fur-producing varieties was undoubtedly the show’s feature, with some very fine rabbits being exhibited.

Boys Sentenced for Egg Theft

At the County Petty Sessions Court, two boys, aged 11 and 9, were charged with taking seven eggs from Mr. E. Winter, a farmer in Drayton. The boys took the eggs from under a hen that was sitting. The police constable said that at one of the boys’ homes, he found a bunch of keys, one of which fitted the padlock of the fowl house door. The boys were ordered to each receive four strokes of the birch.

Abingdon Pavlova and Slough to Contest Local Divisional Final

As a result of the third-round ties of the Amateur Cup on Saturday, Abingdon Pavlova and Slough are left to contest the local divisional final of the Qualifying Competition on December 8th. Abingdon Pavlova were at home to Reading R.W.I.. They showed fine form, and won decisively by 5-1.

Election Contest in Abingdon Division

Great activity is being enacted in the Abingdon Division in the election contest. The sitting Member, Mr. A. T. Loyd, of Lockinge House, Wantage, is not seeking re-election, and Major Ralph G. C. Glyn, M.C., has been adopted as the Conservative candidate. The Liberal candidate is Mr. A. E Lessing, of Kingston House, near Abingdon, who has twice previously contested the seat, at last year’s election being defeated by 540. Mr. Lessing is widely known in the constituency and much respected, and therefore the present contest will be a close one. Meetings of both parties are frequent, and a large Liberal meeting in the Abingdon Corn Exchange was held on Monday evening under the presidency of Mr. M. T. Tatham.

Russian Pool Match

On the evening of the 24th, a team representing the Lamb Hotel, Wallingford, journeyed to Abingdon and played a side representing the Queen’s Hotel, at Russian Pool. An excellent repast was subsequently provided by Mr. Wilks (the proprietor of the Queen’s Hotel, Abingdon).

Thank you for the news extracts and adverts from the North Wilts Herald and Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette and Berks and Oxon Advertiser in the British Newspaper Archive. I could have done with extracts from the North Berks Herald in the library but the film reader has not yet been returned after the recent refurbishment. I’ll look and update this report to include something about Armistice Day in Abingdon when it returns. I found a good report about Armistice Day at Wallingford and Oxford.

River Ock in Abingdon – November 2023

With the fall of the leaves, the spire of St Helen’s Church can be more easily seen from the Ock Valley Walk.

There are a lot of small birds, mostly tits, flitting about in the trees, or dangling and hopping about between twigs. They are far more visible now that most of the deciduous trees have lost their leaves.

The heron is a common sight along the stream, often hopping onto the bank when approached.

I was recently photographing a deer when I noticed a kingfisher perched on a branch on the opposite bank. Unfortunately, it was gone before I could focus my camera.

A piercing whistle above the Ock Valley Walk often signals a Red Kite, which can be spotted perched in the high branches and will take flight when startled.

Earlier in the year, ten alder tree saplings planted by Abingdon Carbon Cutters, beside the River Ock, were mowed down by the new lessee of the field. The Vale District Council, the landowner, obtained an apology and a commitment from the lessee to replace the trees, which has now happened.

The bushes and vegetation along the River Ock, although reduced, provides valuable habitat for wildlife.