Category Archives: heritage

Heritage Open Days 2020: What’s happening in Abingdon

Heritage Open Days 2020
Heritage Open Days in Abingdon will run from 19th to 20th September.

Heritage Open Days 2020
This year a lot of self guided walks have been provided. On Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th there will be a welcome desk in the Market Place where you can pick up printed copies. You will also get copies from

Heritage Open Days 2020
There will be 10+ films about Abingdon. The films will be shown at the Roysse Room on Saturday 19th. They will also be on general release round the world wide web from 19th September from

Heritage Open Days 2020
There will be Hidden Nature – a set of Facebook Live Events from Abingdon Museum.

In East St Helen Street some houses will have their histories in their windows, and The Little Basement Museum is open to the public (for more information click here).

Abingdon 100 years ago – September 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
4th September
Dear Editor, I should feel obliged if, through the medium of your paper you could make an Appeal to employers residing in the Abingdon Parliamentary Constituency of Berkshire on behalf of the disabled ex-service men. The number of employers on the King’s Roll in the constituency is four, and the number of disabled ex-service men employed is sixty-eight. The number of disabled ex-service men unemployed is sixteen, and the number of employers not on the Roll of Honour, who might reasonably be expected to give undertakings is thirty-nine, of whom twenty-five employ approximately twenty-five workpeople or over. I am personally writing to them, and enclose you copy of my letter. I feel sure that every employer will wish to do all that is in his power to help those crippled whilst fighting for their King and Country. Yours faithfully, J. T. WIGAN. M.P. for the Abingdon Division of Berkshire.

The Abingdon Pavlova Factory held their second annual sports event in the grounds on the Marcham Road on Saturday last in fine weather, when there was a large attendance. The Abingdon Town Band was present and there were various amusements.

The Abingdon Gas Company have given notice to consumers that after the next meter reading the price of gas will be increased to 6s 8d per 1,000 cubic feet.

The Abingdon Town Band were granted the use of the garden and lawn of Councillor Claud Rippon at Springfields, Abingdon, when dancing was indulged in and good company was present.

The choir boys of the three Abingdon Churches had their annual outing on Thursday in last week, when a river trip to Wallingford in the steamer Alaska was greatly enjoyed. Tea was partaken of at Benson on the return journey.
Abingdon 100 years ago
11th September
Three London boys, aged 11, 9 and 7 years were found by the Abingdon Police last week, sleeping rough in the basin of the Old Canal. They told the police that a boy gave them a £1 note, and with it the three decided to have a country holiday and took a train to Abingdon. They gave an address in London, their parents were communicated with, and the children sent to their homes.

The Abingdon Salvation Army under the conductorship of Mr F. H. Tombs, paid a week-end visit to Buckingham Salvation Army, on Saturday last. The visit being highly appreciated.

Whilst Miss Bailie, of Caldecott, Abingdon was driving a pony and trap on Park Road last Friday, the horse shied at a passing motor vehicle and ran into the park railings and broke the shafts. Miss Bailie received severe bruising and had to obtain medical aid. The horse ran away but was stopped in Bath Street.

The Abingdon Lawn Tennis Club revived their annual pre-war three days tournament last week at the Abingdon Cricket Ground, Culham Road. Mrs. Challenor was again the hon. secretary. The winners of the open mixed doubles were Mr Fritton and Miss Cannon, who beat Dr and Mrs Stewart. The mixed local doubles was won by Mr J. S. Holt and Miss Robson, the ladies doubles by the Misses B. T. and M. Stephens, and the gentlemen’s doubles by Messrs. Cundell and Dickenson.

18th September
Abingdon 100 years ago
At the Abingdon Borough Police Court on Tuesday, the only case before the Mayor and Messrs H. S. Clarke and J. M. Paul, the sitting magistrates, was that of Rose Moore, single woman, 71, Ock Street, who was fined for riding a bicycle without a light in the Oxford road on Sept. 6th.

Sunday last was observed in Abingdon as Hospital Sunday, and collections were made through most of the streets. The Bands were the Abingdon Town Brass Band and the Headington Drum and Fife Band.

The Abingdon Bowling Club Season was brought to a close on Thursday afternoon last when the finals and semi-finals in several competitions were played off on the Albert Park Bowling Green. The competition included the president’s Challenge Bowl, which was won by Mr J.C. Greenwood, the Vineyard, Abingdon. The prizes were distributed by Mr A. E. Preston, the president of the club.

A Menagerie visited Abingdon on Wednesday, after being at St Giles’ Fair. For sanitary reasons it was not allowed to stand in the Market Place, therefore it was stationed in a field by Abingdon Bridge, and it was well patronised.

The Abingdon Choral Society have commenced their autumn and winter rehearsals, this year in the lecture room of the Abingdon Young Men’s Social Club, Ock Street – Mr F. Reid is the hon. sec.
Abingdon 100 years ago
25th September

Formed in 1918 as a war emergency, the Abingdon Pig Club has now been wound up. During its existence upwards of £600 has been spent in foodstuffs, distributed at cost price to tbe Club members. The accounts showed a deficiency of £9.

A war shrine placed in the Vineyard Street, Abingdon, has had to be taken down for renovation, the names of the fallen having been obliterated, and no record of the names having been kept, the parents and friends of the fallen heroes are being asked to again furnish the names.

The Abingdon Board of Guardians have appointed Miss Garnett, of Abingdon, as Matron’s Assistant at the Abingdon Union, at a salary of £36 per annum, with board, apartments and uniform.

Borough Police Court, Tuesday, before the Mayor (Councillor W B. Langford) William George Turner, Gaol Yard, Abingdon, was summoned for arrears in a bastardy order, and warrant was issued for days.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive, who also provided the adverts. The Oxford Journal Illustrated featured disabled men’s fine work.

Abingdon 100 years ago – August 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
7th August
The Vicar of Abingdon presided over a meeting held on Thursday in the Guildhall, on the subject of the League of Nations. It was intended to hold the meeting in the grounds of Caldecott House, but the weather prevented it. A branch of the League is to be formed Abingdon.

The Abingdon Bowling Club played their first game on the new links in Albert Park on Thursday afternoon, when they met the East Oxford Club. Abingdon won by 30 points in a 30-end game, the scores being- Abingdon, 101 ; Oxford, 71.

A marriage is announced shortly to take place between Major W. Morland, D S.O, M.C., Oxford and, Bucks Light Infantry, son of the late Mr Edward Morland and Mrs Morland, of West Ilsley, Berks, and nephew of Alderman Morland, of Abingdon. and Miss Dulcie Musgrave Wroughton, daughter of Mr W. Wroughton, of Creaton Lodge, Northampton, and Chester Square, London.
Abingdon 100 years ago
14th August
The Abingdon Town Cricket Club met on Saturday last, on the home ground, a team from the Oxford University Press C.C. and a good game was the result. The scores were Oxford, 146; Abingdon, 132. Mr Roff, for the home team, compiled 73.

The Abingdon Rural Deanery Branch of the Girls’ Friendly Society held their annual festival at Abingdon on Thursday last week, when there were nearly 140 members present from Abingdon, Long Wittenham, Milton, Steventon, Drayton, Sunningwell and Radley. The members – met at The Gables, the residence of the Hon. Sec, Mrs Councillor Reynolds, and afterwards went to the Roysse Rooms, Borough Buildings, for tea and prize giving. A service was held at St. Nicolas Church, when an address was given by the Vicar of Radley. The day’s programme concluded with a visit to the Abingdon Flowershow Fete. The weather was fine and contributed to make the festival very enjoyable.
Abingdon 100 years ago
21st August
At the Abingdon Borough Police Court on Monday, Frederick Woodbridge labourer, of Ock Street, was sentenced to 14 days’ hard labour for being drunk and disorderly on the previous day.

At the Abingdon County Bench on Monday, William Hewlett, labourer, was sentenced to three months’ hard labour for obtaining, between April 1st and May 27th last, out-of-work donations of £9 10s, whilst at the same time being in work.

The Abingdon Branch of the Comrades of the Great War held a fete at Abingdon on Saturday last. The Corn Exchange Cinema was shown, and, later, dancing took place in the same building.

A garden party, in connection with the North Berks Men’s and Women Unionist Associations, was held on Thursday afternoon and evening in the grounds of Stratton House, Abingdon, the residence of Lady Norman. It was intended to have postponed the gathering but it was found to have been the expressed wish of Lady Wantage during her illness that the public entertainment should not be cancelled on her account, and so the meeting was held. Mr A. T. Loyd, the prospective candidate for the constituency, addressed the meeting, but confined himself to the death of Lady Wantage. Tea was served on the lawn, there was a whist drive, together with an entertainment a concert party. The Abingdon Town Band played a selection of music. There was a large attendance.
Abingdon 100 years ago
28th August
At the Borough Police Court on Tuesday William George Turner, Gaol Yard, Abingdon, was summoned by Edith Trinder, Court 3, West St Helen Street Abingdon, in a case of paternity. The case lasted two hours and there was much cross examination. The magistrates made an order for 7s 6d. per week until the child is 15, and Turner was ordered to pay the costs, £3 2s 6d. The verdict was received with applause in court.

The Abingdon Town Council, at its monthly meeting last week, sealed a mortgage for £23,000 for their housing scheme, of which £2,900 was for the land and £20,100 for commencing the work for 22 houses.

The Abingdon Young Helpers’ League, on behalf of Dr. Barnardo’s Homes, collected in 32 boxes this year the sum of £11 3s 63/4d, which, with donations, &c., made a total of £12 5s 6d to be forwarded to the Homes.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. The picture of the Rookery is an old postcard from around 1920. The 1920 adverts for Phospherine, Blanc Mange, and Brown and Polson’s Corn Flour came from the North Wilts Herald.

Street Lights in the oldest town

Lights on Earlier
The air has cooled down since the thunder and hail storms of Wednesday afternoon.

I went for an evening walk at 8:20 pm and found some street lights were already on; cars already had their lights on.
Lights on Earlier
At St Helen’s Wharf, Plain Trees shade the Victorian-style street lamps, and as a result they are fooled into turning on even earlier.
Lights on Earlier
Thankyou to Rachel at BlueDoor (now in Southampton) for sending me a link to a piece called Don’t call Abingdon ordinary. It is about Abingdon-on-Thames – a town that has been continuously inhabited since the Iron Age and has innovated to survive. The article is written by a Historian on a website called Unherd. Their mission is ‘to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking’

Chamber of Commerce
P.S. Greg and Rachel used to run BlueDoor Lettings in Stert Street and were very active in Abingdon town life. They had an amusing blog – the confessions of a letting agent. Greg was the front man, and is seen here with Mike Moon in 2011 at a local event.

Abingdon 100 years ago – July 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
3rd July
The Roysse’s School War Memorial, which is to take the form of the extension of the school premises for the reception of more boarders, has its funds well subscribed to but £1,000 more is needed. The memorial tablet recently dedicated in the school chapel contains the names of 73 old boys and former members of the school teaching staff who fell in the war.

The funeral took place at Abingdon Cemetery last week, of Mr J Carter, of Bath Street, Abingdon, who passed away in his sleep, at the age of 83. He was for over 50 years in the employ of the London and County Bank, Abingdon Branch, where he was highly esteemed by the management and the customers. He had retired for a considerable number of years.

A garden party in aid of the S.P.G. Peace Offering Fund was held in the Abbey House Grounds, Abingdon, by permission of the Bishop of Reading, on Saturday last in connection with the Abingdon Church Sunday School and ‘King Messengers.’ The items included a pageant, Britons Call, given by the children in picturesque costumes of the several countries, both in the afternoon and evening. An exhibition of curios, old lace, etc was given in the Abbey House, and there were Stalls for the sale of work &c. Tea was served in the Roysse Room. Notwithstanding the dullness of the weather there was good attendance.

John Cooper, Abinger Road, Depford, was summoned for driving a motor cycle at excessive speed to the danger of public, in Ock Street, Abingdon, on June 18th. The constable said that defendant was driving at the rate of 20 miles an hour, and there were a lot of children playing in the street, John Wiblin, Ock Street, corroborated the constable. and the defendant, who did not appear, was fined.

10th July
The Abingdon War Memorial has now been decided upon. It is to be a monument, with a bronze figure of a soldier, the names of the fallen heroes to be inscribed at the base. The cost is estimated at £1,650 and is to be raised by private subscriptions.

Comrades Sunday was observed by the Abingdon Branch of Comrades in the Great War. They paraded in the Market Place on Sunday morning, and, accompanied by the Town Band, attended the service at St. Helen’s Church, after which they marched to the temporary war memorial and deposited a beautiful wreath.

Alexandra Day, for the benefit of local Hospitals, held at Abingdon on Saturday last, was greatly marred by the wet weather. There were three short performances in the afternoon in the Guildhall, and at a popular concert in the Corn Exchange in the evening the building was packed.

17th July
The Abingdon Master Bakers’ Association had their annual on Wednesday, which took the form of rivet trip by steamer to Streatley.

The birth and death returns for the past quarter by the Abingdon Registrar (Mr T. S. Simpson) includes Abingdon borough and adjoining small parishes, the population being 9,489 shows that there were 71 births (35 males and 36 females), and 31 deaths (17 males and 14 females). The births were 31 more and the deaths 8 less than in the corresponding quarter last year. Of the deaths 19 occurred m the Union (workhouse) and 6 in the local sanatorium.

The Stert Street Cinema, was re-opened after enlargement and refurbishment on Thursday afternoon last by the Mayor (councillor R. W. Langford) accompanied by the Mayoress. The afternoon performance was by invitation, with a collection on behalf of the local Cottage Hospital, and raised £49 3s.

24th July
The Abingdon Boy Scouts held a concert in aid of their summer camp fund in the Abingdon Corn Exchange on Thursday last, which was well patronised.

The Cottage Hospital Pound Day last week realised in money £43 10s 3d, which included besides donations, £9 5s 11d from tea and concert, children’s stall £7 8s 11d, and flower stall £3 Is 0d. The amount of goods of food etc., was 769 pounds, of which the school children contributed nearly 250 pounds.

On Monday evening last to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the peace terms, a volley of eleven rounds was fired by the Abingdon Volunteers in a meadow near Abingdon Bridge, and the occasion was taken of arranging a collection for St. Dunstan’s Home for the Blind.

31st July
Abingdon Angling Society held their first roving competition on Saturday in last week, which was also counted as the first of the four competitions for the Daniel Gardner Challenge Cup. The prize winners were — lst, £1, W. James, five roach and one dace, 2 lb. 3oz. 2nd, 10s, James Gerring, five roach, 1 lb. 9 oz.; 3rd, 5s , Harry Hayward, two roach and a perch, 1 lb. 5 oz and 4th, 2s 6d, Harry Bennitt, three roach, 1 lb.

A fancy fair, organised by the Misses Randall, daughters of the Bishop of Reading, took place last Thursday week in the grounds of Alderman J. T. Morland. The stalls were well supplied with both useful and fancy articles, and both afternoon and evening were well patronised. The Abingdon Town Band gave selections for dancing in the evening. Net profits amounted to £65 16s 6d are are in aid of the Building Fund of the Abingdon Parish Hall.

The Venerable and highly esteemed Bishop of Reading and family are giving up their residence in Abingdon, known as The Abbey House, with its beautiful and historic grounds, and going to live at Bournemouth. The Misses Randall will be greatly missed in Abingdon, both as devoted Church workers and for their charitable dispositions.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. The pictures are of a Thames steamer from a William Hooke postcard. I will add more relevant pictures if I can find them or people send them to