Leadbitter – based in the Abingdon Science Park – won the building contract and will start putting up scaffolding next week. Their brief is “The restoration of the existing listed building, the construction of a new lift from street level to basement, upgrading exhibition spaces…”
They target completion in 8 months time. Key Dates taken from the first of their regular newsletters are:
17th January – Official Start Date
23rd February – First Community Open Morning – between 11am and 1 am where they will chat and answer questions. This is a regular event on the last Wednesday in the month.
29th April – Royal Wedding and Abingdon Bun Throwing Ceremony.
Apart from finding out about building progress, Equal Studio, in charge of the museum side of things, presented their conceptual ideas about how the museum itself would look and were asking for feedback.
They will be able to fit in more display space on three levels for Abingdon history and stories about Abingdon people. The existing display cases will be reused on the top floor, while new multi purpose display cases will be put in the sessions hall …
I am reminded of a the film where The Beatles all arrive home, enter separate front doors, and end up in the same combined house behind. At Abingdon Surgery on Stert Street, both these doors have an arrow pointing further up the street.
The entrance to the surgery is now where Thomas & Co used to be – before they moved to Lombard Street.
25th January – Burns night – second national day of Scotland – and ex-pat Scots have been reciting poems by Rabbie Burns, eating haggis with neeps, and playing the bagpipes in a number of locations in Abingdon.
Isabel organises one such event every year at Millstream Court in Abingdon.
Back in 2002 a group called SAFAG (South Abingdon Floodplain Action Group) put together a detailed plan for developing the meadows along the River Ock near Tesco into a nature reserve. They had just campaigned to stop a hotel and some industrial units being built on the flood plain near Tesco. A nature reserve would stop further building on the flood plain.
For anybody interested, you can still read about that the Ock Meadows Nature Reserve project on the Safag web site.
A bad flood did hit Abingdon in July 2007. This view is from the Drayton Road bridge looking south with the Hartwells garage on the right. There is now a new group, the Ock Valley Flood Group, who are actively taking meaures to alleviate flooding. They have a forum at Preston Rd Community Centre on the evening of Friday 18th Feb at 7pm.