Category Archives: heritage

Edible Abingdon takes part in Edible England


Tomatoes climb up Old Station House. Salad greens and beans, and many different herbs are in the tubs in front.

The Abingdon Carbon Cutters have organised vegetable beds called Edible Abingdon since 2015. They show what can be grown in small areas.

The 2021 national Heritage Open Days festival has the theme of Edible England this year. The Carbon Cutters will lead a walk round the alternative Edible Abingdon vegetable beds on Sunday. As part of Abingdon Heritage Open Days there will also be other food themed events, open properties, films, walks, and a talk. You can find out more at https://abingdonheritage.org.uk/.

Most of the events will be at the weekend. But people visiting Abingdon town centre, on Thursday and Friday, can visit St Nicolas church for an Abingdon food-through-the-ages exhibition, and discover the history of throwing buns at Abingdon County Hall Museum.

Abingdon 100 years ago – September 1921


3rd September
The beautiful home of Mrs Bailie, Caldecott House, has been let until next spring to Sir John and Lady Mildred FitzGerald.

The Abingdon contingent of the Berks Yeomanry go into training with the Regiment at Churn from Saturday, Sept, 10th, till the 22nd. An excellent sports and entertainments programme has been provided.

The trading receipts of the Abingdon Branch the Oxford Co-Operative Society for the past half year has boon published as £5,626, as against £4,852 for the corresponding period last year.

The Abingdon Pavlova Leather Factory Athletic Club held their third annual sports meeting on Saturday last, in a field near the Factory. The Pavlova Band was in attendance, and there were several side-shows, dancing, &c.

The Abingdon water supply to the town is being seriously considered by the Town Council, who have engaged an expert to prepare a report on the matter. The present supply is obtained from a reservoir at Wootton, and supplemented by pumping into the mains water from the well in the centre of the town.


10th September
At the Abingdon County Bench on Monday, Percival Southern, farmer, of Kingston Bagpuize, was summoned by Jessie Waterman for an assault. It appears that the woman was gathering blackberries and mushrooms in the defendant’s field and he took them away from her and flung her to the ground. There was a cross summons issued by the defendant against the woman, who, he said, scratched his face when he stopped her. The Bench fined the defendant £2, and dismissed the cross summons.

The census returns for the Borough of Abingdon show the inhabitants to number 7,167. an increase of 358, but at the taking of the census the various schools boarders were in residence. The males numbered 3,271, and females 3,896.

The Reading Ladies’ Football Club met the Reading Ladies’ Sports’ Club on the Abingdon Town ground Saturday in a match in aid of local charities. The Ladies’ Club were victors by 3 goals to 2. The players wore knickers and jerseys and football boots.

17th September
The unveiling of the Abingdon War Memorial took place on Sunday afternoon last, when Lord Abingdon performed the act of unveiling. The Memorial is a tomb shape, with the names of the fallen on three sides and on the other side a brass plate with the portrait of a soldier engraved. The Mayor and Corporation attended, and addresses were given by the Mayor and Lieut-General R. J Clarke, a member of an old Abingdon family, and at one time Mayor of Abingdon. Prayers were offered by the Vicar, and the Congregational Minister read portions of Scripture. The hymns sung were ‘All people that on earth do dwell,’ and ‘O God, our help in ages past,’ The Town and Salvation Army Bands accompanied. The ceremony closed with the sounding of the ‘Last Post,’ and ‘Reveille,’ and the first verse of the National Anthem was sung. Many floral tributes were placed around the statue. The Territorials provided a Guard of Honour, and a detachment of the Berks Yeomanry and also of the Boy Scouts were present.

The Abingdon Corporation employees had an outing on Saturday week to Southampton by charabanc. The party started at 7 a.m, and several pleasant hours were spent in the town, the outing altogether being very enjoyable.

The Abingdon Licensing Magistrates, who have granted to certain houses extension of hours on market days until Sept 27th are making an application to the Home Office for an alteration of the opening hours on market day, the hours suggested being 11.30 – 4.30 and 7 to 10. It is stated that the Magistrates are opposed to the keeping open of licensed houses later than 10 p.m, and suggest that the ordinary hours should 10.30 – 2.30 and 6 to 10.


24th September
The War Memorial which, as reported last week, was unveiled by the Earl of Abingdon, is described as a monumental structure, in height of 14ft, with a base of 5ft by 6ft, and is in the Roman Doric style. The steps and column are in blue-grey Pennant Stone, and the remainder in Portland stone. One panel is a figure of a soldier with bowed bead, and arms reversed, and the sides bear the names of 228 men who fell in the war. Other portions bear carved laurel wreaths, the Borough Arms, and also the following inscription: ‘This memorial is raised by the people of Abingdon to the men of this town who gave their lives that others might live in freedom and peace.’ The date of erection and the name of the Mayor is inscribed on the base.

The prices at Abingdon market on Monday last were very steady, but the supplies were good. About 60 store and fat beasts changed hands, also nearly 100 calves. Fat sheep and lambs numbered 147, and the pigs penned numbered close on 200.

30th September
At the Borough Police Court on Tuesday, Alfred James Butcher, ?at mender, of no fixed abode, was charged with being drunk and disorderly in Stert Street on Wednesday last week. The police said that the prisoner was singing and shouting to the annoyance of passers-by. Prisoner said some friends had given him a drink. He was sentenced to seven days’ hard labour.

Morris Fitzgerald Ledward, of 46, Bath Street, Abingdon, pleaded guilty to removing a dog out of the borough of Henley without a licence on September 6th, and was fined £1

Maria Stone, No. 4. Court 3, West St. Helen’s Street, Abingdon, was fined 1s for allowing her chimney to be on fire on September 16th. The Mayor paid the fine.

Lizzie Bennett, 22, The Abbey, Abingdon, was charged with stealing a quantity of pipes, tobacco, and cigarettes, the property of William Hathaway, tobacconist, Abingdon. Defendant pleaded guilty and was fined 50s.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. Adverts came from the same newspaper where Heelas, Ford, and Punch have regular picture adverts. The picture of the unveiling of the War Memorial came from my scrap book, and The Earl of Abingdon is from the Tatler.

Abingdon 100 years ago – August 1921


6th August

There were no special holiday attractions in Abingdon on Monday, the day being chiefly spent in boating, picnics &c. Railway day excursions to the seaside took a goodly number and the attractions in the immediate neighbourhood was a garden fete at Sutton Courtenay Manor House, opened by Mrs Asquith.

A very successful and enjoyable afternoon garden fete in connection with the Church of England Waifs and Strays Society was held on Thursday last in the beautiful grounds of Bayworth Manor, at Sunningwell near Abingdon. Mr Harrison Hill gave an entertainment of humorous recitals and piano playing variations.

At the Abingdon Church Girl’s School prizegiving last week Mrs Bailie of Caldecott House distributed the prizes, and also gave a selection of books to the school library. The Bishop’s Prize was won by F. Lay and for perfect attendance for the year by Mary and Mabel Woodley, V. Joyce, C. Wheeler, H. Plowman and R. Belcher.

Certificates of having passed in the local examination of the Royal College of Music have been won by Eunice A Chivers and Norah Faulkner of Abingdon.


13th August

The supplies of Abingdon cattle market on Monday last included 16 fat and 12 store beasts, 71 calves, 272 fat sheep and lambs, and 92 fat and store pigs. Brisker trade prevailed than of late and prices were of a- firm tendency.

The Abingdon Young Helpers’ League for helping the Barnardo’s Homes have collected by boxes the sum of £11 during the past year. The annual meeting was held in the Mill Gardens, tea and games being provided.

The Abingdon Cottage Hospital governors have received the sum of £10 from the proceeds of the Berks Constabulary Sports held at Wallingford last month

‘People one would hardly think would go and live in workhouse are asking for married couples’ quarters at Oxford Workhouse,’ said Counsellor Ludlow, a Labour member, at the council meeting on Friday. No fewer than 24 applications for these quarters had been received, it was said. It was added, however, that this accommodation was being reserved for those evicted from insanitary properties.

20th August

The Bishop of Reading, for many years resident at the Abbey, Abingdon, and now living at Bournemouth, was the recipient of many hearty congratulations on entering his 94th year on Thursday in last week.

A musical treat was give at the Abingdon Baptist Chapel, Oak Street, last week, by Miss Coxeter, late of Abingdon, who was visiting her friends. The talented lady gave a much appreciated organ recital, and Miss Sheldon-Peach and Mr E. B. Coxeter, gave interspersed sacred solos in fine style. The recital was given in aid of the funds of the Baptist Church.

The Abingdon Flower Show and Fete took place on Thursday in last week in the grounds of Caldecott House, lent by Mrs Bailie, who also threw open the beautifully kept gardens. The entries for the show numbered upwards 400, which was considered good considering the drought. There were also a large number of exhibits not for competition. A bee-keeping demonstration was given by Mr Heeps, Berks County Council Expert. The South Berks Silver Band was engaged. The side shows consisted of concerts by “The Cheerios,” competitions, fancy dress parade, May-pole dances by Elementary School Children, etc. The attendance was good especially in the evening.

27th August

The only case at the Borough Police Court on Tuesday was that of Michael Hennesey, of no fixed abode, who pleaded guilty to breaking a window in a cottage in the Abbey, and for assaulting P.O. Goodenough at the same time and place. Defendant was sentenced to one month’s hard labour on each count to run concurrently.

The Abingdon Branch of the Y.M.C.A. held an evening garden party on Thursday last, in the grounds of the Warren, Radley Road, the residence of Sir George and Lady Mary Dashwood. There was a good attendance, and the programme included tennis, clock golf, bowling and a capital concert. A very pleasant evening closed with the National Anthem.

The cook at the Abingdon Workhouse, who had resigned, has now consented to stay on at a salary of £45 per annum, and to this the Board has agreed.

A lad named Carter, of Winsmore Lane, Abingdon, was pluckily rescued from drowning last week by Harry Warrwick, of 10, Margott’s Road, Abingdon. The lad fell from a wall near the canal into the river, and was in imminent peril of being drowned when his rescuer promptly jumped in fully dressed and saved him.

The Abingdon Lawn Tennis Tournament was revived this year, and the rounds and finals occupied four days. The attendance of spectators was very meagre, but the entries were good.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. Pictures came from the British Newspaper Archive. There is also a picture of Haymaking at Lodgehill, and some recipes. This year’s Heritage Open Days in Abingdon will have the theme of Edible England and the website will display what is on.

St Helens from the air. The gospel writers from the ground


Daniel has taken some pictures over the St Helens area of Abingdon during this sunny spell at the start of the school holidays. They include some with the cockerel weather vane and lightening rod on top of the steeple.

Daniel’s video, with the pictures, is on youtube.

From down below I took pictures of the four gospel writers on the porch of St Helen’s Church.

Matthew as an angel

Mark as a lion,

Luke as an Ox

and John as an eagle.