It is over three years since The Old Chemist business closed, and the windows were boarded up ten days ago. A legal notice has been stuck to the door, saying that the landlord has changed the locks and taken back possession. It gives the leaseholder fourteen days to apply to retrieve what is left inside, or their possessions will be sold or disposed of. The Abingdon Herald had more details of the history of The Old Chemist Gin Bar at https://www.heraldseries.co.uk/news/24003683.abandoned-gin-bar-abingdon-repossessed/.
The clock ticks for the old leaseholder, but this will begin a new chapter for a building that once housed Abingdon Library and Smiths the Chemist. A prescription of business know-how and a dose of creativity will see the building up and about.
Avicenna, the chemist chain who took over Smiths, is the landlord.
Belinda has had a shop in West Saint Helen Street for ten years and, to the disappointment of her many customers, has decided to close the business now that the lease has ended.
Known particularly for her homemade jewellery and ornamental items, Belinda also does jewellery repairs.
After over ten years of six-day weeks, Belinda deserves a break, but she will carry on doing repairs from home to keep her hand in and because she enjoys the challenge.
Whilst she is sad to be closing, Belinda says she has thoroughly enjoyed being a small part of the town, and wishes to thank everyone who has supported her business over the years.
There will be a sale of the remaining stock and display cabinets and furniture in January.
A new takeaway/restaurant at Number 3 West St Helen Street offers Afro-Caribbean Cuisine. They have been open for about a week and had a trial run during the Abingdon Fair. I enjoyed my first meal this evening. The Curry Goat was tender, and the rice and peas were flavourful. Good luck to them in their new venture. Check out their menu at pappys.co.uk.
Mostly Books has Ruffles by local author David Melling featured in their window at the moment.
The Bookstore has reindeer in the snow in their window and a selection of books. If you are wondering what to buy book lovers you know for Christmas, then both shops have selections on tables and more on the shelves.
Annabel from Abingdon has been writing a blog reviewing books since 2006, possibly earlier. In 2023, she has reviewed 116 books and aims to read and review 125. I often check out her reviews before deciding what to read. See https://annabookbel.net/.
Steve King also reminded me that his book ‘Now I grow oranges’ is still available. Martin Wackenier has copies on his Monday Market stall.
There are even a few copies of ‘Ten Poems about Abingdon’ available at the Bookstore and the Abingdon Museum. Most of the money from this book which I helped produce goes to the Abingdon Bridge charity.