Category Archives: anniversary

Abingdon resident Joan celebrates 100th birthday

Joan Watt had her 100th birthday on Monday 4th October in Abingdon. Family travelled from Plymouth, Bristol, West Bromwich, Stafford and Lincolnshire to celebrate this special occasion.

This picture, taken in September 2018, shows Joan with Ena Mitchell. Ena is now 103.

Joan was born in Deal, Kent in 1921. The family moved to Lodge Hill which was a munitions depot, near Chatham. A Naval launch would cross the river Medway to pick up the school children and take them to the dockyard and the children could then walk to school in the town.

At the start of the Second World War Joan was an aircraft spotter.

She and her husband moved to Abingdon in April 1963. She has three daughters, five grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

Joan and Ena are well known at Trinity church. Joan has been knitting clothing for the homeless for 25 or 30 years. In her early 90s she walked all around Abingdon, including the mile to Trinity and back again, but cannot walk so much anymore.

These pictures were taken on the day of family and Joan receiving her telegram from the Queen.

Progress Pride Flag

Thanks to Ben for sending this…

The Progress Pride Flag is fluttering proudly outside Abingdon School during LGBTQ+ month.

The Progress Pride flag was created in 2018, based on the mainstream Pride flag but with the addition of a chevron which is comprised of black, brown, blue, pink and white to emphasize the inclusion of Black, Brown, and trans people in the LGBTQ+ community.

Royal British Legion – Centenary

This week marked the centenary of the Royal British Legion – 100 years providing support for the armed forces, campaigning for their interests and promoting Remembrance.

Saturday, May 15th, has been designated RBL 100 and special commemorative badges with the poppy on them have been designed, wreaths will be laid and there will be a Battle of Britain memorial flypast.

Abingdon has long held the poppy close to its heart and the Legion has been a presence in the town since at least 1933. In the past five years Abingdon has donated almost a quarter of a million pounds to the Poppy Appeal – an incredible jump on the £20,000 raised annually a decade ago.

Clare Oldfield, Poppy Appeal Organiser, said: ‘Support in the town is humbling, awe-inspiring and collecting is always an emotional experience. Remember this money comes from donations, nothing has a price on it. This is what people want to give. It is not uncommon for them to give £30, £40 and £50 for a single poppy. Or hundreds of pounds for a wreath.’

The Poppy Appeal in the town is organised and run by the RBL social club in Spring Road, Abingdon – drawing together veterans, cadets, schools, college students and dedicated collectors.

And not even a pandemic was going to stop the town raising thousands of pounds once again when house to house, supermarket and street collections were banned last year.

Covid restrictions meant the club remained closed for this weekend’s RBL 100 celebrations.  It reopens on Monday May 17th to members and their guests. Membership is not limited to the armed forces and Stuart Jackson, club chairman, said: ‘We look forward to being at the heart of the community once more, to celebrating the centenary, to welcome old friends back – and maybe even some new ones.’

If you would like to become a poppy collector or to share your Legion story contact Clare Oldfield on

To find out more about the Royal British Legion go to:

Pictures show one of the RBL 100 badges, and veteran Bob Strachan, a long-term poppy collector.

Europe Day – 9th May

Thankyou to Brian who sent this picture celebrating Europe Day! It shows the European Flag flying above the County Hall Museum in Abingdon.

Brian says, ‘It has been the flag of the Council of Europe since 1955. The UK is a founding member of the Council and, of course, is still a member.’

‘Much later, in 1985, the same flag was also adopted by the EC.’