Author Archives: Backstreeter

Barclays to close Abingdon Branch

The Barclays branch in the Square, Abingdon, is scheduled to close in February 2024. This closure follows the closure of the town’s other Barclays branch on Marcham Road in January 2020.

The decision to close the branch in the Square is attributed to the availability of alternative banking methods for most customers, with 94% of customers now using online and mobile banking services.

Barclays has stated that only 15 customers regularly rely solely on the Square branch for their banking needs. Additionally, 23% of the branch’s customers have frequented alternative branches within the past year. They say customers can use the Post Office to pay in cash and cheques and withdraw cash.

The Barclays branch in the Square, Abingdon, has existed for over a century. The 1907 Abingdon Directory lists Barclay and Company Limited in The Square, Abingdon.

For more information see

Upcoming Events

Trinity Church is hosting the Civic Service this year and welcomes the Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames, dignitaries and visitors.

Deacon Selina, the mayor’s chaplain, is leading the service and is delighted to have the Fijian Fellowship Choir singing for this special Advent service.

A Reception will be in the Conduit Centre, next door, afterwards.

The Albert Park Singers Christmas Concert is on Friday 8th December – 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm – at St Michael and All Angels’ Church. The Albert Park Singers are a local community choir. There will be seasonal favourites from Carols to pieces by Handel and Elgar. Free Admission. Donations on the night to Crisis at Christmas. The concert will be followed by refreshments.

On Saturday 9th December there will be a Local Excellence Christmas Craft Market on Abingdon Market Place.

Closing Down but not forever

Spruce Dry Cleaning, an Abingdon institution for 30 years, closed its doors on November 30th 2023 and has ‘Closing Down’ signs in the window. However, the outgoing message on Google suggests this will not be forever. ‘Spruce will open again under new management at some stage in the future,’ the message reads. ‘In the meantime, we’d like to thank all of you for using Spruce over the years, and we wish you well in the future!’

Dry cleaning isn’t as dry as the name implies. Water was avoided to prevent fabric damage, and a liquid solvent was used. But nowadays, a range of different techniques are available, including a dry cleaning system that uses water (ref 1).

ref 1:

Abingdon Christmas Extravaganza 2023

Despite the lack of real snow, artificial snow added a touch of winter magic to the scene of the Christmas Extravaganza.

It was cold enough for snow. The cold made me feel sorry for the stallholders who stood out all day from 9 am to 4 pm. On Bath Street, there were a mix of festive stalls, stalls seen at the local excellence markets, community groups, and children’s fair rides.
There were also performers on Bath Street, and donkeys from the donkey sanctuary

At noon, there was a parade led by the Oxford Caledonian Pipe & Drum Band. The parade  featured a number of the youngsters, and performers from the day.

The Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council came near the end of the parade,

followed by Father Christmas and some of his elves.
There were some stalls on Bury Street. The community shop in Bury Street had Christmas craft activities for children.

A lorry provided the main box stage on the Market Place, near which sponsors had their gazebos, as well as food and drink stalls.

Town Council staff worked on the lights until the last minute, even stringing up lights on the real tree as the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers performed. The contractor who was due to set up the lights on the Christmas Tree was hit by a drunk driver, while on their previous job, and is now in hospital. The Town Council pulled out all the stops to get the lights up.
At 6 pm the lights were successfully turned on, and instead of the much complained about real fireworks of last year, Katy Ellis with her Katy Perry Tribute Show sang Firework and other songs.

The new tree in Roysse Court looks much better now that it’s lit. Abingdon Town Council organises the lights.

The Abingdon Events Partnership organised this and many other events in Abingdon.