Since 1985, Rotary’s key humanitarian priority has been to rid the world of polio. This used to be a disease that paralysed people in the UK. The last outbreak of polio in the UK was in the late 1970s. There are now a few hard to vaccinate regions in the world. Rotary continue to campaign, help finance health worker training and vaccination programmes to stop the disease returning until the world is certified polio-free.
This year in Abingdon the grass verge next to McDonalds has a display of purple crocus.
They were planted by The Rotary Club of Abingdon Vesper and Abingdon McDonalds. There is an interesting page about Abingdon Vesper’s involvement in the campaign at Abingdon Rotary Polio
On 28th October 2019 the Vale of White Horse District Council rejected a plan to build flats on a former cricket ground, now used for youth football and training.
The plan was rejected because the proposed development of a three-storey building comprising 9 residential apartments would result in:
* an unacceptable loss of playing field
* the unacceptable erosion of an important open space within the Northcourt Conservation Area (it would block the view shown above from Northcourt Lane).
Thankyou to Daniel Glover for this picture of the sports field. The land is owned by Abingdon Vale Cricket Club – formed in 1993 when Abingdon Cricket Club and North Abingdon Cricket Club merged. Hale’s Meadow became their preferred ground and the North Abingdon ground, alongside Abingdon United Football Club, was used by Abingdon United for football training and youth games.
Abingdon Vale Cricket Club have appealed against the council’s decision and because of the pandemic it has taken time for the appeal to be heard.
The sale of some of this land for flats would help them with their club development plan, and help improve facilities at Hale’s Meadow.
The appeal will be heard by a government planning inspector as a virtual event starting on 8th March 2021.
Helen Flynn has launched a petition before that hearing to ‘Save Abingdon Juniors’ Football Pitch & Historic Conservation Area’ at https://www.change.org/p/abingdon-vale-cricket-club-stop-new-build-in-protected-historical-area. She is looking for public support.
Last Friday the first-ever UN treaty to ban nuclear weapons came into effect. The day was marked on Abingdon Market Place by the Abingdon Peace Group.
The treaty prohibits signatories from producing, stockpiling, selling and using nuclear weapons. The treaty was passed by the UN in 2017, with 123 countries voting for and 38 voting against. It has so far been ratified by 52 states and others are in the process. Signatories are mostly from Africa, Latin America and Asia.
They include some European nations including Ireland. Will the UK follow? The archbishops of Canterbury and York, and many bishops of both Anglican and Catholic dioceses have publicly called on the UK government to sign it.
There are an estimated 13,400 nuclear weapons worldwide. Such weapons are overwhelmingly owned by the USA, and Russia. Other countries with nuclear weapons include: China, France, UK, Pakistan, India, North Korea and probably Israel. Signatories do not include any countries that own these nuclear weapons or any Nato members.
Thankyou to Feng Ho for the pictures.
There has been a lot of activity at Old Abbey House with people being shown round in hi-viz jackets and with hard hats.
The Vale of White Horse District Council no longer need the buildings and have put it on the market with a guide price of around £1m to see if there are potential buyers. That does not include the garden. They are also in discussion with the Friends of Abingdon Civic Society to see if there are any suitable community uses.
Old Abbey House can be approached by foot from the Market Place via the Abbey Gateway and is at the heart of Abingdon.
It is a very welcoming building and once some of the 1970s office panelling is removed will look far more attractive inside.
It has many attractive features.
The building is made of two halves and I was told that the lower half is the older part. Explorations by the Friends of Abingdon will discover more.
The friends think it could potentially have lots of rooms for community use as well as a cafe looking out onto the Abbey Gardens. They are doing a lot of the ground work, and a feasibility study, and are looking for leaders to take on the project as trustees.
To show your support for the building being kept for the people of Abingdon you can sign the petition at https://www.change.org/p/vowhdc-save-old-abbey-house-for-the-people-of-abingdon.
The Friends of Abingdon have more information at https://abingdoncivicsociety.org.uk/old-abbey-house-update/.