Category Archives: street scene

Junction of Bath Street from Broad Street


We are approaching Bath Street from Broad Street on a fair May evening.

This pedestrian way connects the town centre with Park Road and Bath Street to the west of Abingdon and the Stratton Way bus stops.

This town notice board was installed a couple of years ago and is getting a fuller range of fliers in 2022. I read somewhere that the Friends of Abingdon are helping to put up the fliers. It used to be something the residents’ parking warden might do.

The flower bed still has the overwintering poppies. But they and some wallflowers will soon be replaced with summer bedding plants.

The Street with the most names in Abingdon

Queen Street
Queen Street, in Abingdon, is pictured here from level 7 of the Charter Car Park.

Queen Street is a back lane providing the delivery entrances to shops on Bury Street and Stert Street. Hedges the Butcher is the only shop now to have a customer entrance down Queen Street. There used to also be a fitness studio. There are also some offices.
Queen Street
The thoroughfare got the name Queen Street in Victorian times – being the side entrance to the Queens Hotel. It ends in a medieval-looking passageway to the Market Place, where the Queens Hotel once stood.

According to John McGowan’s book ‘The Origins of the Street Names of Abingdon’  it is not really a street but a lane. He says ‘It is one of the ancient thoroughfares of Abingdon and has had more names than any other street in the town: Ottwelleslane… Bryanneslane… Schoelane… Crab Lane… Workhouse Lane… Otwell Lane… and Queen Street’

National Route 5 – 15 years on

Sustrans say “National Route 5 of the National Cycle Network is a long distance route which connects Reading and Holyhead via Oxford, Banbury, Stratford-upon-Avon…” But by all accounts, National Route 5 through Abingdon does not get the repairs or priority that the prestigious name National Route should merit.

It was opened back in the June 2000 when Mr John Disley, Oxfordshire County Council’s transport planner said “The network will dramatically improve cycling facilities and will contribute greatly to the county council’s objective for increasing cycle use.
National Route 5
The sign in the Abbey Meadow area still says”Changes planned in Abingdon town centre as part of Integrated Transport Strategy.” The cycling part of that strategy through the town centre never happened.
National Route 5
Signage is worse than 15 years ago. One of the signs on West St Helen Street is only visible to pedestrians, and faces the wrong way.
National Route 5
And if you do find your way from there to Lombard Street you are soon told to dismount.

Colin Walters, a town councillor between 2007-11 made strenuous efforts to make the route through town joined up with a proposed contra-flow at the top of East st Helen Street. It was turned down, on safety grounds, and no alternative has been put forward.
National Route 5
To make matters worse, a car is parked on the double yellow lines (on National Route 5) where a dropped kerb would allow access to the pavement for the mobility scooter. This is in a town that has 2 hours free parking.

The Eben Lark has Flown from West St Helen Street

West St Helen Street
The Eben Lark has flown, having spent the summer here, and now the shop is To Let.
West St Helen Street
However, some things in West St Helen’s Street never change: St Helen’s Church has been there as a focal point through the centuries.
West St Helen Street
Traffic is often unpredictable. I arrived back near home on Thursday evening and it took 15 minutes to do the last few yards. Traffic queues were merging from St Helen’s Wharf and East St Helen Street, and somebody said it had taken 2 hours to get from Harwell to Abingdon.
West St Helen Street
Shelves are being cleared away from the Abingdon second hand CD and DVD shop.

What was Frend & Co has been repainted ready For Sale; and the big banner saying new flats coming soon, where the solicitors offices used to be, has gone. Building work is almost complete – all part of the changing picture of West St Helen Street this autumn.

P.S. Hester sent me this picture to go wth her comment “Frend’s Jewellers have moved to new premises next to Bella Napoli, near the Charter (where Tick-tock used to be till the owner retired recently).” …
Frend and Co