The Abingdon-on-Thames neighborhood plan consultation had a physical presence under the County Hall. People can read the interim report and make comments at https://www.abingdon.gov.uk/neighbourhood-plan before the end of July. This is a chance to choose your community’s future.
The countdown to the move of the Newbury Building Society from West St Helen Street can be seen in the new branch in Bury Street.
A crochet model of the Very Hungry Caterpillar has appeared on the lid of the post box on the Market Square. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is still a popular children’s book over fifty years after first being published. Eric Carle died in May 2021.
Abingdon Town Council have put some tubs with floral displays outside the shops at Reynolds Way. Forno also have their own enclosure with flowers.
However all is not as good as it could be. There have been two shops closed for nearly two years. McColl’s Newsagent and Post Office closed two year ago. The Chinese takeaway / chip shop closed soon after.
The three litter bins, outside the shops, were removed by Vale of White Horse District Council, and they were needed.
There has been some scaffolding holding up the Reynolds Way wall for about 18 months. The wall with community art murals is the back of a row of garages owned by Sovereign Vale Housing. Work could be pending but it is taking time.
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.