Category Archives: heritage

1953 – Coronation Year – Percy Holmes – Mayor

At the Monday Club this evening, Helen organised a quiz. She also showed some pictures from 1953, the year her Grandfather, Percy Holmes, was the Mayor of Abingdon. Helen intends to give the package of photos to the Town Archivist. They were curled up, and I weighed them down with jigsaw puzzles to make copies of a few of interest.

Preparation of an Ox Roast for the Coronation celebrations.

Mayor Percy Holmes, carving the Ox Roast outside the Queens Hotel.

Members of the Abingdon Council with the Mayor as he addresses the crowd using a 1950s PA.

Cooling off in the Abbey Meadows Open Air Pool – at a swimming gala.

This is probably the Welfare Food Campaign with an event at the Roysse Room; some well-nourished children with a bottle of something. The campaign entitled all infants and expectant mothers to free milk, orange juice and cod liver oil. Does anybody recognise themself?

Pictures are mainly stamped on the back by H.J. Milligan, but not all were stamped. I added the words on the front to show provenance. Thanks to Helen.

Abingdon 100 years ago – May 1922


6th May
A very successful rummage sale was held on Saturday afternoon last in the newly-built Church Rooms to aid the Abingdon Boy Scouts.

On Wednesday evening last week, the Hendred Black Crow Minstrels gave a creditable entertainment in the Corn Exchange to aid the new motor fire pump for the Abingdon Fire Brigade. A good audience much appreciated a lengthy programme.

The Abingdon Railway Station clock is still missing. The case against a man alleged of removing the clock on Easter Eve was dismissed last week at the Borough Court on insufficient evidence. The police are still making enquiries to know of the clock’s whereabouts.

13th May
The Mayor of Abingdon this week has represented the Abingdon Chamber of Trade at the National Chamber Trade annual conference at Margate.

The Abingdon Cricket Club is experiencing great difficulties getting an 11 to play this season’s cricket. One meeting had been held and another fixed for next week to reinstate the Club.

The Abingdon Free Churches commenced a series of united services last week, when the preacher was Mr Webber, of Oxford, and the service was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Ock Street; there was a good attendance.

On Monday evening, a fire broke out at a cottage in the Abbey, Abingdon, tenanted by W. Hartwell, and considerable damage was done to the building and contents. The prompt action of Firemen Andrews, Challenor and Gibbens, assisted by the police, soon got the fire under control and prevented it from spreading in the thickly populated neighbourhood.

At the Cattle Market, the day’s heat was so severe that three of the pigs penned for sale had to be slaughtered in the market.

At the Abingdon Rural District Council meeting last week, the Inspector reported 32 cases of scarlet fever. Dr Sisam stated that the cause of the outbreak around Hinksey Hill was caused by milk supplied by a dairy which had become infected by the cowman, who had previously had members of his family ill. The cowman had stopped work, and the disease had abated. The doctor had seen the cows and the milking appliances and saw no reason for stopping the supply.

20th May
The Abingdon Cricket Club was fixed to play Oriel College, Oxford, on the home ground, on Saturday last, but the College could not play. However, a match was played between the Town club and the local Grammar School, the former making 82 for all the wickets and the school 112 for eight wickets.

The unemployment returns for last week by the Abingdon Labour Exchange were men 185, women 5, boys 2 – short time men 62, women 120, girls 4.

The Abingdon Baptist Church Women’s Society have subscribed £1 5s 6d and forwarded the sum to the Save the Children Fund (Russian Famine).

The statutory May Fair was held in the Bury on Saturday last. There were not as many paraphernalia as heretofore, the younger generation especially enjoyed themselves.

The Abingdon Borough bathing place is to be opened for this season on Sunday. Certain hours are free, others exclusive for ticket holders, and others for a fee.

The Abingdon Sub-Committee of the War Pensions Committee held their final meeting in the Roysse Room last week when the thanks of the meeting were given to Mr T. Skurray, the Chairman, and others. The members were afterwards entertained to tea by the Chairman.

At the Borough Police Court, Alfred Trigg, labourer,  of Thames Street, was summoned for assaulting Elizabeth Giles on Sunday, May. 7th. The complainant said she walked out with the defendant’s lodger, and when she was standing in the street, the defendant came and slapped her in the face. The defendant was fined 10s and bound over for 12 months. Elizabeth Giles and her daughter (the above complainant) were summoned for assaulting Emily Trigg, the Wife of the defendant in the previous case. Fined 10s each and bound over for 12 months.

27th May
The funeral took place at the Abingdon Cemetery on Wednesday afternoon last week of Mrs Langford, wife of Mr Stanley Langford, a partner in the firm of Messrs Langford and Sons, corn and seed merchants, Abingdon. The deceased died after a short illness following an operation at the early age of 37 years. The first portion of the burial service was said in St. Helen’s Church, when there was a large gathering of friends and sympathisers, and many beautiful floral tributes were sent.

Last week, the death occurred at Abingdon of an old inhabitant, viz, Matthew Townsend, of 63, West St. Helen Street, at 73 years. For over 60 years, he followed the occupation of a boat haulier on the river Thames, beginning at ten and only retiring about two years ago. In years past, he used to bring coal from Nuneaton to Benson.

The Abingdon Cricket and Football Club annual meeting was held last week. The Mayor presided, and the financial statement showed that accumulated deficits made £128 6s 2d, chiefly through the cricket section finance. It was decided to alter the name to “Abingdon Town Sports Club,” and a committee was formed to draw up rules for the different sections of the Club.

The River Thames must surely be infested with otters to an alarming extent. A few days ago, a full-grown specimen was found on the railway near Marcham Bridge by Radley platelayer with the forepart of its head smashed. It had undoubtedly been caught by a passing train and thrown clear.

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

Adverts are brought to you with help from the Nork Berks Herald.

Abingdon 100 years ago – April 1922


1st April
The inmates of the workhouse were given an excellent entertainment last Thursday evening, arranged by Mr H. Kitto, of Oxford.

The Alexandra Day Committee have decided to hold a fair and fete in the Abingdon Market Place this year, in aid of the Oxford Eye Hospital, and St. Helen’s Nursing Home Sanatorium Comforts Fund.

The Abingdon Special Constables during the war numbering about 50, were presented last week with the long service medals, Lt.-Colonel Poulton, the Chief Constable of Berks, made the presentation and was accompanied by the Mayor.

At St. Michael’s Church, on Sunday morning before High Mass, the dedication of the new oak choir stalls took place, when there was a large congregation. A portion of the seats were in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the church, and the other portion in memory of the late Mr Owen Challenor Pryce, who was killed in the war, the only son of Mr Charles Alfred Pryce, the Clerk to the Borough Magistrates, whom that portion of the costs were defrayed. The late Mr Pryce was a member of the choir, and a large laurel wreath was placed where he usually sat in the choir.

At the Borough Police Court, Harry Harvey, Wilsham Road, Abingdon was fined 5s (25p in today’s money and with inflation about £10) for riding a bicycle without a light, on the 14th, in Marcham Road.

8th April
There was a contest for the vacancy representing the Western Division of Abingdon on Berkshire County Council, at the elevation of T Skurray, to the Aldermans Bench. The candidates were Mr W. M. Grundy, headmaster of Roysse School, Abingdon, and Mr Selby Cornish, a retired farmer, Park Crescent, Abingdon. The poll took place on Tuesday, at the Council School from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The result of the poll was Grundy, 588; Cornish 318.

In connection with a circular from the head office of the British Legion appealing to religious bodies for support, a special service for this object was held on Sunday evening last at the Congregational Church, when a spirited address was given on the aims of the British Legion by the minister. Several solos were effectively rendered by Mr David Smith.

The Coroner (Mr Bromley Challenor) held an inquest on Saturday on the death of the female child, aged 7 weeks, of Edward Mulford, farm labourer. The mother’s evidence was that the child slept with its parents, and was fed from the breast. On Thursday when picking the child up she found it was dead. The medical evidence was that the deceased died from heart failure attributed to acute indigestion

15th April
The net proceeds of the recent sale of work in connection with the Abingdon Trinity Wesleyan Church realised (net) £225 17s 1d.

The Abingdon Branch of the British Legion opened their new club room at The Barley Mow, Lombard Street, on Thursday evening last, with a capital smoking concert.

The Abingdon Branch of Farmers’ Union held a meeting on Wednesday evening last week at the Lion Hotel when Mr H. Pullen presided. The question of wages was discussed in reference to the Conciliation Board and it was decided to pay 30s for a 50 hour week, the same agreed upon in Oxfordshire, pending the statement by the Conciliation Board.

The second of a series of Sunday evening concerts at the Abingdon Cinema, Stert Street, took place on Sunday last, when there was a large audience. The Oxford Electra Orchestra gave several excellent selections, and the vocalist was Miss Bertha Steventon, of Oxford, whose excellent soprano voice was highly appreciated. The proceeds after payment of expenses were devoted to the Abingdon Cottage Hospital.

At the Abingdon Borough Court on Wednesday last, Frederick Bird (23), a discharged soldier, and Rose Neal (19) were charged with absconding from the Abingdon Workhouse on March 21st, wearing apparel belonging to the Union. They were apprehended the day previous at St. Albans. The Master of the Union stated that the male prisoner was of good behaviour, and was a discharged soldier, having been wounded and gassed, but the female prisoner did not bear a good character and the witness thought she was the cause of the trouble. She had also been in the Mission Home at Oxford. The value of the clothes was stated to be £3 and £2 10s respectively. The Bench discharged the male prisoner putting into consideration his war service, and bound the girl over on probation for three years on her own recognizance of £5 bail.

22nd April
The Easter services at St. Helen’s, St, Michael’s, and St. Nicolas’ were well attended on Sunday, and at St. Helen’s the Mayor and Corporation attended the morning service. The edifices were very appropriately decorated. The offertories throughout the day at each Church were given as an Easter offering to the Vicar. The sum of £66 was collected at St. Helen’s and £37 at St. Michael’s.

On Tuesday, before the Deputy Mayor and Councillor H. T Clarke, William James Lawson, of 12, Cemetery Road, Abingdon, was summoned to the Police Court for assaulting his wife on Saturday, April 8th, in Park Road. After conflicting evidence, the defendant was cautioned and the case dismissed. James Castello, employed at the Didcot Military Stores Depot, was charged with stealing the station clock, valued £5, at Abingdon Railway Station on Sunday evening, the property of the G.W.R. Co. The accused was remanded till Tuesday next on his own recognizances of £10 bail.

29th April
The funeral of Mr Percy B. Trinder, of 2, Spring Road Abingdon, took place at the Abingdon Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, in the presence of numerous relatives and friends. The deceased died on the Wednesday previous at the early age of 33 years from pneumonia after about a week’s illness. During the war, he served with the Royal Garrison Artillery in Salonica, and contracted malaria fever, from which he never completely recovered. He was educated at the Abingdon Council School and there gained a scholarship from the Oxford Technical School. The deceased has since his army discharge been carrying on a coal business and leaves a widow and two children.

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

Adverts are brought to you with help from the Nork Berks Herald.

Heritage Truck seen in town


This truck was seen waiting at the lights in Ock Street this afternoon. The writing says:

Morland (Dymore Brown) Abingdon – No 40

Chairman: Thomas Skurray, United Breweries, Abingdon, Berkshire

Beagle Strong Ale, Monarch Strong Ale, Viking Pale Ale

Abingdon & Reading

Also of historic interest is that the Prince of India has changed from Blue to Red in the last few days.