The Vale of White Horse District Council have announced they are looking for a possible new future for Old Abbey House. They no longer need Old Abbey House and are looking for a new owner. It could be sold for housing, but they are also in discussions with the Friends of Abingdon Civic Society about community use.
Before closure, the larger part of the building was used by Abingdon Town Council, and the smaller part by Citizens Advice Abingdon.
The entrance foyer of the part used by Abingdon Town Council was home to the Abingdon Information Centre.
To the left of that was the council committee room.
Next to that was a wide wooden staircase, with a stained glass window, leading to four or five offices.
Behind the information centre, to the left, was the Mayor’s Parlour with an attractive bow window. The Mayor for 2013-14, Sam Bowring, can be seen entertaining some English Civil War reenactors.
To the right of the information desk were open plan offices, and the muniments room – holding old town documents.
The old citizens advice area had a separate entrance and was also divided into smaller rooms. From the outside that half of the building can be seen to need roof repairs.
Old Abbey House is not a listed building, but is in the heart of Abingdon. Its old garden, the Abbey Gardens, should remain for public use whatever happens. Everybody would be delighted if a viable community scheme comes forward for the building. If we all put our thinking caps on maybe we could come up with something.
In West St Helen Street there was a good turn out for the final Thursday 8 PM celebration of carers. Every Thursday people are encouraged onto the doorsteps by a member of the Oxford Caledonian Pipe Band with a drum
In Thesiger Road, George Haslam has been playing the clarinet on Thursdays at 8pm, and on this final week he appeared with a saxophone to play Over the Rainbow.
There will be other ways to show our appreciation to carers like making sure they are paid fittingly for their heroic efforts in future.
We can also find new ways to come together as a community. One such is Abingdon Zoo Day this coming Sunday.
The former Charter Day Centre (the downstairs part) has been empty since it closed as a Day Centre for people with Learning Disabilities in October 2017. Before that it served as a Day Centre for the elderly until 2008.
Suggested uses by the estate agent are educational or as a surgery. It is next door to the library and Malthouse Surgery and multi story carpark.
It would also make a good day centre. The rent is too high though for a community group to take it on.
Thankyou to Clare for this press release from a few days ago. I have reused pictures from the blog post on 27th October 2018 . There was a chance to take more pictures on Thursday when volunteers got together which I did not make.
Big-hearted Abingdon folk raised more than £50,000 for the Poppy Appeal last year — a 16 per cent increase and equivalent to more than £1 for every person in the town.
Official figures show that the town has donated £52,545, an increase of £7,196 on the previous year.
The generosity of people was astounding with more than £15,000 in notes alone being dropped into one of the 364 collection tins. They also tapped their way to a further £1,000 on a contactless machine.
Highlights of the two-week collection saw the the Army Cadets smash through the £10,000 donation barrier, while a single collector raised almost £4,000.
But the really big story was the fundraising at Tesco Extra Abingdon where the team of collectors with their “poppy shop” in the store foyer raised £17,368 – more than £4,000 up on the previous year. A further £500 came in from collection tins at the end of tills.
The Appeal was given its own Abingdon launch with MG owners in poppy red cars parked on the Market Place, while Abingdon Lions took on the task of distributing boxes in the town centre.
Clare Oldfield, Poppy Appeal Organiser, says: ‘Ten years ago Abingdon raised £20,793 for the Poppy. Over the past two years the poppy collectors have raised almost £100,000.
Abingdon may not be the biggest town on the Thames but it must surely have the biggest heart. The amount raised is truly amazing and something the town and its poppy collectors should be rightly proud of.’