Category Archives: heritage

Abingdon 100 years ago – June 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
5th June 1920
On Monday last the Abingdon Police had another field day in Abingdon for holding up motor cars for the production of licenses, and Mr Asquith, journeying from his Sutton Courtenay residence, was held up, but it proved to be blank, as the late Premier promptly produced his license.

The G.W.R. Company in their reply to the Abingdon Town Council’s suggestion that the Sunday trains on the Branch should be re-commenced, state that the circumstances did not admit of the facility being afforded.

The Abingdon Town Council has granted another £50 towards the equipment of the Local Museum of Natural History and Antiquities in the County Hall.

The Abingdon Bathing Place was re-opened for the sesion on Sunday last. The floods during the winter having destroyed a portion of the island on which the dressing boxes were built, only a portion of the island can be used at present.

12th June 1920

The Abingdon Railway Slate club members had an outing to Blenheim Park, Woodstock, on Sunday last. The journey was made by brakes, and supplies for luncheon and tea were taken with the party. The day was greatly enjoyed.

The Abingdon branch the C.E.M.S. has through lack of interest of the majority of its members, suspended its active working sine die. (Church of England Men’s Society)

The report of the Abingdon Free Library has been issued and shows satisfactory use being made of the reading and lending department. During the year ended March 31, the period the report covers, 14.304 volumes were issued from the lending department.

Abingdon 100 years ago
19th June 1920

The graded supplies at Abingdon Cattle Market on Monday last were 4 beasts and 56 sheep, 24 of the latter being allocated to Oxford. Calves met a fast trade and realised up to £l7. Supply pigs was rather short, some strong stores made up to 47s.

At Abingdon Borough Police Court: J. H. Hammond, Trinity College, Oxford; Nellie Alden, Eastwick Farm. Abingdon, and F. Hugging, butcher, Southmoor Road, Oxford, were each fined 10s for failing to produce motor licenses when requested by the police.

Abingdon 100 years ago
26th June 1920

Roysse School Founder’s Day took place on Friday last, when the usual service was held in St Helen’s Church, and a wreath placed upon the Founder’s (John Roysse) tomb. A reception of parents and friends was afterwards held at the school, and a cricket match between past and present, the former winning by only one run. On Saturday the usual regatta was held ou the river, where the prizes were distributed by the Lord Lieut of the County (J. H. Benyon, Esq.)

The June Fair was held as usual in the Abingdon Market Place on Monday last, but only a few small stalls and miniature roundabouts were erected.

There was a large attendance at a Council meeting in connection with the Unionist Association of the Abingdon Parliamentary Division, the business being to consider the replacement for the sitting MP, Brig-Gen Wigan, D.S.O.. Mr Arthur T Loyd was selected and in his acceptance speech said: I must thank you very sincerely for the great compliment you have paid me by this selection. Believe me, it is an honour I appreciate very highly, and I also appreciate the great responsibility which attaches to the position in which you have placed me. I must confess I am an extraordinarily bad politician, for I suffer from an awkward inability to say one thing and mean other (applause). Probably I shall get the better of it, but if I betray a disposition to say what I mean and try to do what I say l am going to do, I hope you will put it down to inexperience (laughter and applause) …

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. The picture of Mr Asquith about to drive his car is from The Graphic also on the British Newspaper Archive. The Wills’s cigarette card is from a private collection.

Abingdon 100 years ago – May 1920

Saturday 01 May 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
At the Abingdon Borough Police Court on Tuesday, Edwin Fisher, cabman, Fyfield, was summoned for cruelty to a horse, but did not appear. Mr Finch, R.S.P.C.A., said that on the 17th April he found the horse, which was very old. in the High Street in a very bad state. He had called the defendant’s attention to sores on its back the week previous. The Bench ordered the horse to be destroyed, and adjourned the case sine die defendant to pay 10s towards costs.

The annual spring stock sale at Abingdon took place on Wednesday last week in the Tower Brewery Meadow, Ock Street. The entries exceeded 400 and were mostly from farmers in the district. Messrs Adkin. Belcher and Bowen, the auctioneers, sold most of the stock at good prices.

Saturday 08 May 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
At the County Bench on Monday, James Sutton, labourer, of no fixed abode, was charged with breaking into the residence of William Hosier, Ock Mill, Abingdon, on April 29th. Prisoner had been previously convicted and the Bench sent the case to the Reading Assizes.

The Abingdon War Memorial Committee have decided that the site for the Memorial shall be the Square, the same place as the temporary cross is erected. The final vote for the Memorial design is to be left to the relations of the 205 men of the town who had lost their lives in the war, but are to be given three designs to choose from, viz a cross, a cenotaph, and a bronze figure of a Berks infantryman.

On Thursday in last week the members of the Abingdon Y.M. Social Club returned from war services were entertained to a dinner by C Pryce founder of the Club, which took place at the Assembly Rooms, Station Road. During the evening the presentation of a wallet of Treasury notes was presented to Mr A. J. Young who recently resigned the office of hon. sec and treasurer after 25 years service. Young’s, response, mentioned the fact that during the past 25 years he had not missed a single meeting of the Club which he estimated at nearly 300 meetings. He thanked the company for giving him such a happy ending to a pleasant chapter of his life.

Saturday 15 May 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
At the Abingdon May Fair on Thursday in last week the Abingdon Market Place was occupied by roundabouts, stalls, etc , and there was a large attendance during the evening. The fair was originally a horse fair held in Lombard Street, but which has been defunct for many years.

The last of the winter series of lectures given in Abingdon under the auspices of the Berks Agricultural Society was delivered on Wednesday by Dr. B. Marett, Dean of Exeter College, Oxford, on prehistoric periods.

The Abingdon Cricket Club commenced their season on Saturday last with a match on the home ground against Oriel College, Oxford, the former winning by 54 runs.

Borough Court, Tuesday. John Pullinger, Radley, was fined 5s for not sending his child to school regularly.
Saturday 22 May 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
On Monday most of the builders workmen, masons, bricklayers, painters etc-, came out on strike for the Oxford wages of 2s per hour, the present pay being per hour 1s 6 1/2d.

The Abingdon Division of the Berks Constabulary had a field day on Monday last amongst the motor drivers. All cars and motor cycles were held up for production of licenses, particulars of which were taken down. The episode interested many of the Abingdonians, especially the juveniles.

The Abingdon ‘lvy’ Lodge of Oddfellows have placed in their Lodge room an oak tablet in honour of 184 members of the Lodge, who served in the Forces during the war; 33 of whom made the supreme sacrifice. The tablet was designed by G. Dixon, Abingdon, and the names are in gilt letters, the unveiling the Memorial took place last week when the Vicar of Abingdon said the dedicatory prayers, and the hymn O God, our help in ages past was sung. There was a large company present including the Mayor.

The Abingdon Branch of the Comrades, at a meeting last week passed the following resolution to be sent to the Government ‘That this Branch, being gravely concerned at the news which reaches them from many parts of Ireland, of the conditions under which ex-Service men are living, the persecution which they are suffering, and the danger to their wives and families, calls upon the Government to take immediate steps to give protection to these men, who went without any compulsion whatever to fight side by side with their brothers of Great Britain overseas.
Saturday 29 May 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
The Whitsuntide services at the Churches of St. Helen’s, St. Michael’s and St. Nicholas’. Abingdon, were attended on Sunday by large congregations, and the Churches were nicely decorated.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive.

Abingdon 100 years ago – April 1920

Saturday 03 April 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
At St. Helen’s Church on Palm Sunday afternoon the Abingdon Choral Society, under the conductorship of Mr Sheldon Peach, gave a creditable rendering of Stainer’s Crucifixion, when there was a large congregation. Introductory prayers were said by The Vicar, and a silver collection in aid of the Abingdon Cottage Hospital. Miss S. Peach was the principal soloist.

Major J. N. Aldworth has been appointed to command the reconstructed 4th Batt. Royal Berks Regt. He served with his battalion for four years in France and Italy, and gained the M C. in the Somme battle in 1916, and was twice mentioned in dispatches.

The last of a series of Sunday evening musical services at the Abingdon Congregational Chapel, was given on Palm Sunday, when there was a large congregation. The anthem was O Praise the Lord. The Rev. C. H. Gill preached a very practical sermon on the subject of  ‘Recreation.’

The quarterly returns of the registrar (Mr Simpson) for Abingdon and District shows a considerable increase in the birth rate, of which there were 70 (33 males and 37 females) against 21 in the corresponding quarter of last year, the population of the area being 6439 at the last census. The death rate was 35 as against 47 in the corresponding period.

Saturday 10 April 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
A public meeting was held in the Abingdon Corn Exchange last week to discuss plans for a War Memorial, the Mayor presiding. There was a fair attendance, and several took part in the discussion, and several letters of suggestions and opinions were sent and read. The result of the exhibition of the plans for inspection of the public in the Roysse Room for a fortnight was that out of 1,600 only 269 entered any opinion as to the exhibits, 171 of whom voted for canopied tomb specimen exhibited.

Mr H. Strange Road, Abingdon, has just retired from the services of Messrs Bayliss a Co. of Ock Street, Abingdon, after 40 years with the firm at the Abingdon Branch.

Wantage Town again met Abingdon in the final for the North Berks Junior Cup at Wallingford on Saturday last in the presence over 2,000 spectator. During the first half Abingdon scored two goals, but on changing ends Wantage retaliated and made the score equal, a third goal by Kichings being disallowed. Extra time was played but no further scoring took place, and it was decided to again hold the replay at Wallingford on May 1st.

Saturday 17 April 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
St Nicolas Church Vestry Meeting was held on Tuesday last, when Mr J. T. West was re-elected Churchwarden for the 23rd time. St. Helens Church Easter Vestry was held on Thursday evening, the Vicar presiding. Messrs M. T. Tatham and T. Bowen were re-elected Churchwardens

The graded supplies at Abingdon Market included 3 beasts and 62 sheep, both being allotted to local butchers. The control for pigs being dissolved there were penned 100 store pigs and 84 porkers

The (Workhouse) Abingdon Board of Guardians met Monday last, Mr Weaving presiding. The quarter’s bills were submitted, amounting to £1,617 14s 3d, an increase on the corresponding quarter of £572 15s 5d. The number of inmates was reported to be 151, as against 141 the corresponding quarter last year.

A lecture about South Rhodesia, its natives and the political situation, was given in the Abingdon Church Girls’ School on Monday evening. There was a good attendance.

At the Abingdon Borough Police Court on Tuesday, before the Mayor and Councillor Clarke, James Taylor, labourer. West St. Helen Street, Abingdon, was sentenced to seven days hard labour for being drunk and disorderly in Broad Street on Sunday last, and Sheldon Peach of Abingdon, was fined 5s for a dog being astray without being muzzled.

Saturday 24 April 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
The Ivey Lodge of Oddfellows held another successful whist drive in the Roysse Room, Abingdon, on Wednesday evening last week, when over 150 were present. Refreshments were served, and the Mayor distributed the prizes to the winners.

There were no cases for hearing at the Abingdon Borough Police Court on Tuesday last.

The Abingdon Girls’ Club members, assisted by friends, gave capital entertainment in the Abingdon Corn Exchange on Wednesday evening last week, when they were accorded a full house. The programme included a musical sketch arranged by Miss S Peach, and a play arranged by Miss Tatham, Northcourt House, and Miss Estridge, of Square House. Each item on the programme was well received.

Dear Stevens, Following my letter of July last, and in view of the fact that my wife and I have now settled in Essex, I have definitely decided that I would prefer not to stand for the Abingdon Division of North Berkshire at the next election. Whilst I have done all that I can to represent the interests of those who reside in the constituency, I find that as I live so far away, it is hard to keep in touch with my constituents without neglecting my more local affairs. Probably also, in many ways a local candidate for such a constituency as the Abingdon Division of North Berkshire, would have many advantages, should a suitable one become available. I have met with little else than kindness since I have had the honour of being your Member, and I should also like to thank you, the Committee, and members of our Association for all they have done, Believe me. Yours very sincerely Brigadier-General John Wigan

Thankyou for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. Pictures from old postcards and town guides.

Abingdon 100 years ago – March 1920

Saturday 06 March 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
The Cattle Market was re-opened on Monday for fat stock only, under the Restriction Order for Foot and Mouth, and the supply was twelve beasts and 45 sheep, which were allocated to the town.

The Rev. Charles Deal, for over 10 years Minister of the Baptist Chapel, Ock Street, Abingdon, who has resigned, and is taking up work near London, preached his farewell sermon to a large congregation on Sunday evening last.

The coal shortage was referred to at the Abingdon Council meeting last week. It appeared that the amount of coal allocated the town was about 1,800 tons short of the maximum, and it was stated that last Thursday there was scarcely any coal for sale in the town.

From the proceeds of a recent concert given in the Corn Exchange by the Abingdon Choral Society, £6 has been given to the Cottage Hospital, and £5 to the local Sanatorium Comforts Fund.

At the County Bench on Monday, Mrs A. Hedderley, of Wootton Farm. Abingdon, was fined 5s for allowing two bulls to stray on the highway.

Saturday 13 March 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
Plans for the Abingdon War Memorial have been exhibited in the Roysse Room during the past and present weeks for inspection by the townspeople, who are asked to write their opinions on slips provided. There are three designs —one by Mr J. G. T. West, architect, of Abingdon, appointed by the Council, which is estimated to cost £500 ; one Mr C O. Wright, art master of Roysse School, Abingdon, estimated to coat £1,850 ; and the other by Mrs Councillor E. Reynolds, a probable cost of £300.

ln the Saturday League matches the Abingdon Town Club beat Steventon by 14 goals to nil.

The Arts League Service gave a capital entertainment in the Abingdon Corn Exchange, on Wednesday evening last week. The audience although not a large one, highly appreciated a refined, artistic and pleasant evening

The annual boat race between the past and present, scholars of Abingdon Roysse School came off in the Culham Reach on Wednesday, and resulted in the Old Boys being defeated by two lengths.

The Abingdon Pierrot Troupe ‘The Cheerios’, gave a capital entertainment in the Corn Exchange, on Thursday evening in last week, in aid of the local Cottage Hospital. There was crowded house and the performers received enthusiastic reception.

Saturday 20 March 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago

A sale of work was held in the Abingdon Wesleyan Schoolroom Thursday in last week, to clear off a debt of about £80 on the Circuit Fund. The receipts came to over £100. The Mayor presided at the opening ceremony, which was performed by Mrs H. T. Clarke, of Waste Court, Abingdon.

At the Abingdon Post Office last week a roll of honour tablet was unveiled and dedicated, bearing the names of employees who served in the war, and four who lost their lives. The tablet is of carved oak, and was unveiled by the Mayor and dedicated by the Vicar. The frame is of ornamental carving, surmounted with the Abingdon Borough Arms in green and gold. The tablet is placed in the public department ol the Post Office.

At the Borough Police Court Tuesday, Mrs Clara Vretch, proprietress of the Queen’s Hotel, Market Place, Abingdon, was fined 7s 6d for allowing her dog to be in the street unmuzzled.

Saturday 27 March 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
The Abingdon Ivy ” Lodge of Oddfellows’ balance sheet for the previous year just published show a total amount of funds in the adult branch of £4,505, there being an increase of £183 during the year. In the juvenile section the total fund is £249, the increase for last year being £14.

 The Abingdon Cottage Hospital have arranged for another annual house to house collection in Abingdon and the neighbouring villages by a committee of ladies

In aid of the National Life Boat Institution an Oxford undergraduate party gave a theatrical entertainment on Wednesday evening in last week, to a large and appreciative audience at the Abingdon Corn Exchange.

At the Abingdon Rural District Council meeting at the Guildhall, Abingdon, on Monday last ,Mr H. Weaving presiding, the Surveyor’s estimate for road repairs during the ensuing year amounting to £9,605 9s was passed

William M. Grundy, headmaster, Roysse School, Abingdon, was fined 7s 6d under the Dog Muzzling Order (to prevent Rabies)

On Wednesday, Harry Dixey, an old Abingdon man of 72 years was charged with absconding from the Abingdon Workhouse, on March 15th from which date he had been wandering about, and was arrested in Wootton road. Defendant was before the Court a month ago on a similar charge and cautioned. The Bench now committed him to seven days with such hard labour as the defendant was certified able to perform.

Thankyou for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. Picture of cattle weighing machine and Oddfellow lunch from Oxford Journal Illustrated. The notice of the War Memorial and animal circus came from the North Berks Herald.

Abingdon 100 years ago – February 1920

7th February 1920
(Pictures of children in Abingdon waiting at the Station Yard Depot for coal with wheelbarrows sacks and handcarts)
Abingdon 100 years ago

Abingdon 100 years ago
The coal shortage came up for discussion at a Town Council meeting in February. During the previous twelve months there had been a shortage of coal allocated to Abingdon, and it was said that only the mildness of the winter prevented dire hardship and distress.
Abingdon 100 years ago
Many men in their forties who were not ‘too old’ when their country needed them discover they were so now when they tried to get a job.

A motor lorry, on Monday afternoon, crashed into a window at The Knowl, Stert Street, the residence of  J, G. T. West, the framework and window being completely demolished.

A slight fire occurred last Saturday evening in one of the wool-drying sheds in the Pavlova Leather Works, but was extinguished by the employees before the Fire Brigade arrived.

At the Borough Police Court on Tuesday, for allowing dogs to stray without wearing muzzles, Walter Thatcher, builder, of Stert Street, and Louisa Ballard, shopkeeper, of Stert Street, were each fined 5s. and Lady Stratton of Stratton House, Bath Street, who did not appeal, was fined 7s 6d. (The Muzzling Order was introduced on the outbreak of rabies).

Saturday 14th February 1920
Abingdon 100 years ago
The American Cobweb, a rather novel way of raising money, was tried at the Wesleyan schoolroom, and was quite successful. The proceeds were for the National Children’s Home and Orphanage.

A pair of horses, attached to a lorry, whilst at Abingdon Station on Thursday, were frightened by the back-fire of a motorcycle, bolted out of the Station yard, Broad Street, and rushed up the steps of Lady Norman’s residence, joining the street, and one of the horses thrust its head through a panel of the door. Both horses fell, and were about to re-start, when they were pluckily secured by Mr J. Gibbens,

The following were fined 5s each under the dog muzzling order : – Percy Aldwinckle. Manor Farm, Shippon; Sarah Whale, landlady of. the Globe Inn. Market Place, Abingdon; Fred Sandford, gardener, of Caldecott Road. Abingdon; and Marion Halse, night nurse at the Abingdon Workhouse.

Arthur Day was charged at the Borough Bench on Monday with stealing from Milton Depot, on Feb. 7th, three sponges of the value of 10s. The defendant, with others, on leaving work, was searched, and the property was found on him. The Bench took a lenient view, it being a first offence, and fined him 30s.

Saturday 21st February 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
Abingdon Choral Society gave an entertainment in Abingdon Corn Exchange. The first part of the evening was a cantata ‘The Song of Victory’– ironically written by a German composer, and the second part, miscellaneous items. There was an efficient local orchestra, and the proceeds were in aid of local charities.

The congregations of St. Helens, St Michaels, and St Nicolas Churches, Abingdon, held a very enjoyable Soiree at the Abingdon Corn Exchange, on Shrove Tuesday evening. There was a large company present and all were heartily welcomed by the Vicar, A very enjoyable evening was spent.

Saturday 28th February 1920

Tom Finnigan, 45, a soldier in the R.A.O.C at Didcot was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Bridge Street and assaulting P.C. Pill. The constable said the defendant was found shouting and using bad language, and on being ordered to be quiet and go away became abusive, and being taken into custody tore the constables coat. Defendant was fined 10s for being drunk, £2 for assaulting the police, and 5s damages.

Neville Bradshaw, undergraduate, Merton College, Oxford, was summoned for riding on the footpath at Cumnor Hill. Defendant pleaded that the road was very slippery. Case dismissed.

Abingdon Cattle Market was again closed on Monday in consequence of the foot and mouth disease.

Abingdon 100 years ago
The Abingdon Town Council war memorial committee resolved that the War Memorial should be placed in The Square and a roll of honour of all who had fallen or served in the war should be prepared. The number of men who enlisted during the war was 1336 of whom 205 died and 360 had been wounded. The number who received honours numbered 60.

The housing committee decided to make a start with the construction of about 50 houses on the east side of the land at Boxhill, facing the Oxford Road. The land to be purchased for £2900.

The proposal to bring a new Glue and Gelatine factory to the town could not be considered in view of the effluent estimate of 300,000 gallons a day and the nuisance which would be caused by the boiling of hoofs, bones and skins.

The Borough Mace went to be repaired in London where it was compared with the maces of the Houses and Lords and Commons and was pronounced by experts to be a far finer specimen than either.

Thankyou for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. A few town council stories came from Borough Archives in Abingdon Library. Adverts came from the North Berks Herald. Picture of children collecting coal from Oxford Journal Illustrated – Jan 14th 1920)