Category Archives: heritage

Albert Park at Sunset – remembering Albert and Coal

Albert Park at Sunset
I went out for a walk round Albert Park. The light from the setting sun caught Prince Albert above it all. There were people out for walks, and families playing.
Albert Park at Sunset
One of Abingdon’s greatest monuments is of a German Prince, admired and taken to heart by Victorian Abingdonians. They shared with Queen Victoria’s grief and created a civic memorial.

Prince Albert died at the age of 42. He had become known as a reformer in causes such as educational reform and the abolition of slavery worldwide. He was instrumental in the the Great Exhibition of 1851. The statue was finished in 1865.
Albert Park at Sunset
Facing Prince Albert is the Church of St Michael and All Angels Church – finished in 1867.
Albert Park at Sunset
Trinity Church, nearby, was finished in 1875.
Albert Park at Sunset
In Victorian days smoke rose from chimneys. The chimneys in Park Road are memorials to the age of coal.

Abingdon 100 years ago – January 1921

8th January 1921
Abingdon 100 years ago

Cyril Stacey, West St. Helen Street, and a Scholar of the Abingdon Church Boys’ School, has been awarded a county junior scholarship tenable at Roysse School, Abingdon. (He did not have to pay the £58 fees)

The Abingdon Vineyard Sub-post Office has been transferred to No. 38, the business premises of Mr A. Gammage grocer.

Mr and Mrs Frederick Mills, of Maud Hale Villas, the Bridge. Abingdon, celebrated their golden wedding, and were the recipients of numerous congratulations.

The funeral of retired Abingdon solicitor, Mr Walter James Sedgefield, aged 81 years, of Bath Street, Abingdon, took place in the Cemetery, on Thursday in last week in the presence of a large number sympathisers and friends, including the Mayor, and several Magistrates and Town Councillors. Deceased was for nearly 50 years Registrar of the Abingdon County Court and Clerk to the Borough Magistrates. Although deceased did not take an active part in the public life of the town, and was of a somewhat retiring disposition, he was ever ready generously to help in the causes of local charities and public institutions.

Services of United Prayer meetings were held in Abingdon, on Monday and Tuesday in St. Nicolas Church, and on Wednesday and Thursday this week at the Abingdon Wesleyan Church. The special subjects of prayer are respectively classified for international peace, social peace, peace and unity among Christians, and the Kingdom of God in the world.

15th January 1921
Abingdon 100 years ago

Ralph Brenyan, baker, Edward Street, Abingdon, was charged with being drunk whilst driving a trade motor car in the parish of St. Helen’s Without, Abingdon, on January 1st, and also without having lights attached. For the first offence defendant was find £5 and 16s costs, and for the second offence a fine of £2 was imposed.

Miss A. L. Smith, for many years connected with the Abingdon Post Office as supervisor, has been presented with a purse of Treasury notes, subscribed for by the past and present staff, on her retirement. The presentation was made last Week by the Postmaster on behalf of the subscribers.

The Abingdon Church Sunday Schools gave their annual entertainment in the Corn Exchange on Wednesday evening in last week. The programme consisted of a variety of action songs, sketches, dances, &c. The hall was well filled by an appreciative audience.

The number of cases treated during the past quarter in the Abingdon Isolation Hospital was 67, viz., 53 of diphtheria and 14 of scarlatina, sent from the contributory places as follows;—Abingdon Urban and Rural, 37; Wantage Urban and Rural, 11; Ramsbury, 2; Goring, 1; Bradfield, 3; Faringdon, 1; and Witney. 13.

22nd January 1921
Abingdon 100 years ago
Mrs Asquith has presented the secretary of the Abingdon Y.M.C.A with a copy of her autobiography, bearing the following inscription: ‘As a token of my great respects for this wonderful institution, Margot Asquith.’

The adult members of St Helens Church Choir, Abingdon, were entertained by the Churchwardens to a capital supper and musical evening, in the Roysse Room on Wednesday evening of last week. The Vicar presided.

The inmates of the Union Workhouse were given another entertainment on Thursday evening last week, when the programme was arranged by Miss M Beckett, one of the Church School teachers. Mrs Reynolds (Guardian) presided, and the programme consisted of songs, etc., and a short play by juveniles and friends.

The marriage of Captain Hugh Baillie, eldest surviving son of the late Major Baillie, J.P., of Caldecott House, Abingdon, with Miss N Ferre, daughter of Lt. Col H.M. Ferrer, C.B.E. Took place last Thursday at Holy Trinity Church Kennington Gore. The Church was fully decorated for the occasion and the service was fully choral. The ceremony was performed by Rev. H. Blackmore, D.S.O., M.C., chaplain to the King, who was assisted by the Vicar of Abingdon.

29th January 1921
Abingdon 100 years ago
On Thursday evening last week, the Congregational Church War Memorial, a new oak pulpit, was unveiled by a former pastor, the Rev. A. T. Rose. The service was very impressive, the anthem being ‘What are these.’ and the hymn ‘For all thy Saints’ was reverently rendered. The pastor Rev. C. Gil preached an appropriate sermon.

Last Friday evening Mr Arthur Chivers, bootmaker, aged 61 years, 11 Edward Street, Abingdon, died suddenly in Abingdon Baptist Chapel, Ock Street. It appeared deceased went to the choir practice, and whilst waiting near the door for other choir members to come fell down dead, from heart failure. An inquest was not considered necessary.

The Rev J.P. Morris, the newly appointed minister of Abingdon Baptist Chapel was heartily welcomed on Thursday last week at a social gathering in the Schoolroom.

The Bowling Club held their last whist drive of the winter season, when about 200 were present.

The Abingdon Horticultural Society’s annual meeting took place last week at the municipal buildings. Mr J.S Simpson presided. The accounts showed a total income of £223 15s 6d which included gate money at the August show of £81 5s 9d and subscriptions of £57 1s. Prizes amounted to £41 9s. The next show was fixed for Thursday August 11th.

At the police court, Alfred Welsh, clerk, 19, Exbourne Place and Mary Wheeler of Shippon were both fined 1s 6d for riding a bicycles on the footpath in Faringdon Road.

At the County Bench, James Welsh, described as a stableman, of no fixed abode, was charged with stealing a bicycle and sentenced to a months hard labour.

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

Abingdon on Ebay and Etsy Today

There are many Abingdon artifacts on the online auction sites Ebay and Etsy. To buy them would bring them back to Abingdon where they started out. Here are just a small sample of what was on offer.
Cut Trees
This postcard was posted in 1910 and is from a picture by Warland Andrew. The Mayor and Council are on a raised platform on Abingdon Market Place. Before them are three men in uniform with pith helmets. Some people have umbrellas. I don’t know the event.
Cut Trees
A stoneware ginger beer bottle from W Barnett Junior.
Cut Trees
A tailors clothing brush from around 1920 with Advertising for E.H. Beesley Tailor, Hatter & Outfitter.
Cut Trees
The photograph of an assured lady taken at the studio of James Brewerton, 17 High Street.

St Helen’s Wharf

St Helen's Wharf
Last night stars were bright and there was frost on car windscreens.
St Helen's Wharf
This morning a mist had formed, and we went for an walk in South Abingdon – starting at St Helen’s Wharf.
St Helen's Wharf
The waterside promenade at the wharf was created in 1884 after Christ’s Hospital demolished the Anchor Inn and the Almshouse Over the Water. Replacements were built on the other side of the road. I learnt that, and more, when making a video about the almshouses and St Helen’s Wharf last summer, with Jackie Smith.

If you haven’t seen the video then here is a new version – without music. The music was a bit distracting, but I thought at the time it would add atmosphere.