Author Archives: Backstreeter

Uncover the Secrets of the Iron Age!


From Saturday 6th July to Sunday 29th September, Abingdon County Hall Museum will take you back to the Iron Age!

Before the Romans, from around 50 BC to 50 AD, where the centre of Abingdon is now, there was a protected settlement called an ‘Oppidum‘ (Latin for Town). Iron Age Oppidum towns could be surrounded by ditches for fortification. When people were excavating near the old station and near West St Helen Street, they found what they thought were Oppidum-style ditches.

Before developing the Ashville Trading Estate in Abingdon, archaeologists discovered an even older Iron Age settlement that pre-dated the Oppidum.

At the exhibitions are information boards to explain:
* Iron Age
* Iron Age Abingdon before the Oppidum
* Abingdon’s ‘Oppidum’
* Iron Age Coins
* Weapons and a sword found in the Thames
* Jewellery, skin decoration, and clothes
* Pottery
* Food
* Rituals and burials

There’s also a video about recent discoveries near Wittenham Clumps where iron slag and iron offcuts could be evidence of an Iron Age blacksmith.

Watch England, “Hey Nonny” and more


‘My Heart in Thine’ is a concert of British secular and sacred choral music at St Helen’s Church on Saturday, 13th July.

England are just one game away from European glory. In the semi-final, Phil Foden was on fire. The final against Spain will be shown at the Abbey Cinema and on smaller screens throughout Abingdon at 8 pm.

‘Hey, Nonny’, and other Shakespeare-inspired music will start at 5 pm, not 8 pm as originally planned, to avoid a clash.

After the Shakespeare-inspired music, music lovers can see The Bookshop Band perform at St Nicolas Church, Abingdon, on Wednesday, 17th July. Their music takes inspiration from books like Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Testaments’, Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’, and Philip Pullman’s ‘The Book of Dust.’

On Saturday, 20th July, local charity Against Breast Cancer is hosting the Splash Of Pink community fundraising event from 10 am to 3:30 pm in Abingdon Market Square. The event will feature stalls, acts, and live music to raise awareness and funds for research into secondary spread breast cancer. Shops are encouraged to participate by decorating their windows in pink, with the best display winning the Splash Of Pink trophy.

Art enthusiasts will find a free exhibition from local artists Joanne Sonnier and Emma Williams. Held in the garden at St Ethelwold’s from 10 am to 4 pm on Saturday, 20th, and Sunday, 21st July, the exhibition will showcase their artwork inspired by the beauty of St Ethelwold’s.

P.S. On Friday 19th July, the Swan Upping comes to Abingdon. Approximate timings are at https://www.royalswan.co.uk/

Walking the Thames Path and Make a Splash


Dale and Alan are walking the Thames Path, first downstream and then upstream, to raise money for the Ollie Young Foundation. Their journey began on July 9th and continues until July 27th. Ollie lost his life with an inoperable brain tumour just before his sixth birthday. The foundation aims to find a cure for this devastating illness. See https://wwo24.org/

Hatwell’s Funfairs have their rides near the river at Rye Farm Meadow. We are more used to seeing them near Drayton Road.

Another visitor asked about the Thames Path and I said, ‘Follow the funfair side of the river. Cross to the other side at Abingdon Lock and follow a Thames Path sign over a wooden bridge.’

Several walkers with backpacks were enjoying the Thames Path today. But according to Frank at the Lock, there are not as many boats as usual.

The puppet barge has returned to its usual spot along the river. The Open Air Pool is preparing to open. Grass has been cut.

Bookings for swimming sessions are available from July 20th onwards. For more information try Make a Splash.

England’s Euro 2024 Journey: Can They Reach the Final?


England are in another Euro semi-final, this time facing the Netherlands. The memory of their penalty shootout loss in the 2020 final against Italy lingers. Back then, on home soil, their victories were more emphatic, and the nation was optimistic. Their path to the semi-finals has been less convincing this time around, leading to a more cautious mood. Gone are the scenes of widespread flag-waving of 2020. But some Abingdon businesses have the flags out.

Topsport has had a Euro2024 window display since May.

The Blue Boar have their England flags out.

Since Jamaica is not in the competition, Pappy’s ‘Back of Yard’ is backing England.