Monthly Archives: April 2013

An Abingdon wind farm

A couple of years ago I went to talk to the Abingdon artisan who recyles all sorts of cast offs to make windmills. It gives him and passers-by at Withington Court great pleasure.
This evening it was good to see as many windmills as ever.
Here is a short video to show how wind can be harnessed for fun.

(Often at the start of the month I join with bloggers worldwide to do something on a joint theme which is for May 1st creative artisans.)

The County Council Elections – Abingdon Candidates on the internet

Abingdon East has a fascinating contest for their next County Councillor this coming Election Thursday. But will you vote?
Count Nikolai Tolstoy is one of the candidates – representing UKIP (the UK Independence Party). UKIP are fielding candidate for the first time in every Abingdon ward. He currently lives in Southmoor a few miles outside Abingdon, but has Russian origins.
He will be up against Mike Badcock, former two time Mayor of Abingdon, representing the Conservative Party. Mike was instrumental in renaming Abingdon to Abingdon-on-Thames and instigating the bun throwing contest.
Alison Rooke, another former Mayor, is the Lib-Dem Party candidate. She helped lead a campaign while Mayor to save Abingdon Community hospital from closure, and after experience of looking after her dad suffering from dementia will do all she can to improve care services.

Julius Bullock is the Green Party Candidate for Abingdon East, and an engineer at the Rutherford Labs. His Bio says “He knows Abingdon East well and will take an engineer’s problem-solving approach to its problems of flooding, traffic and lack of affordable housing.”

The Abingdon Labour Party candidate is Mike Gould.
The new Abingdon South boundaries, redrawn in 2012, has confused people, particularly those living in the Fitzharris Estate. Up to now they never considered themselves to be Abingdon South but they are now. They too have an enthralling contest, but without a UKIP aristocrat, …
Marilyn Badcock, a former Mayor, and partner of Mike Badcock, is the Conservative Party Candidate. In her bio she says “Abingdon-on-Thames is a thriving community, and it is a privilege to serve as a town, district and county councillor, working for local people.”
In the write up for Neil Fawcett, a former County Councillor, and candidate for the Lib-Dems, it says “As County Councillor he won major investment in Thameside and Caldecott Schools, helped put together the plan that led to the new Family Centre and got the classrooms that now house Riverside Pre-School on the Thameside site.”
Carolyn Guillot, the Green candidate says “I feel Abingdon South needs development particularly in the area of schooling, traffic congestion and amenities for the young and protection from further housing development unless the above issues are resolved.”
Chewe Munkonge ‏has been campaigning in Abingdon South for the Labour Party. A few weeks ago one person told me he was the first person they’d seen on the doorstep. Also saw him at a flood meeting.

David Weaver is the UKIP candidate. He send me his profile. Here is an extract … “I was a Parish Councillor for 13yrs with Cholsey Parish Council, Deputy Chair for 2yrs and Chair for 3yrs.

I was one of the 70,000 volunteers chosen for the 2012 London Olympic Games.

Why UKIP? From my early teen’s I have believed that elected Members of Parliament and local Councillors are there to do the bidding of the
electorate, they are, the servants of the people. UKIP is unique in local government, because we do not ‘whip’ our councillors to follow party diktats, or toe the party line. Instead, we expect our councillors to represent the wishes of the electors at all times….”

Finally North Abingdon where
Chris Caddy is standing for the Greens. Chris has a rich portfolio. He was a senior manager at the Vale of White Horse District Council and since retiring has achieved much with various voluntary organisations.

Tom Fleming is standing for UKIP but I have found no information about him on the internet.
The Conservative Candidate is Sandy Lovatt, the current leader of the town council. He is a campaigner for small business. He says “The cost of running council services can and must be kept efficient without damaging essential services. The Conservatives have already proven that they deliver proper planning and value for money.”
Helen Pighills is the Lib-Dem candidate. Her party aims, if elected, are “Halt the four-fold rise in Day Centre charges for elderly people; Increase funding for the youth service; and Increase funding for flood prevention and road repairs.”

George Ryall is the Labour candidate.

The Oxford Mail did much better and got submissions from most candidates which were printed last week. I’ll update this if people point me at the info and send comments.

Market Place on Saturday

Market Place
Yesterday the usual round of Market Place activities were back in full swing. The Abbey Brass Band are a charitable group whose aim is to provide training for young people and adults. For only £75 a year, they can supply an instrument and weekly group tuition. Visit
Market Place
The 10th Abingdon (St Helen’s) Scouts were holding a sale. They are looking for adults who are interested in becoming Scout Leader or Assistant Scout Leader for their thriving group. The group has Beavers and Cubs – several of the Cubs will soon be of Scout age and they want to start a Scout troop for them from September 2013. Contact Tom Kyffin (the Group Scout Leader) at
Market Place
It was also last day of the exhibition by Abingdon Artists at St Nicolas Church, and they had lots of visitors during the week.

If you had a wish which shop would you bring back to the precinct?

Having been reminded of buying our first cooker, around 1986, at the Gas Showroom, here is a fuller list of shops in Bury Street Precinct from about that time. Four are unchanged, and remarkably they are all now neighbours, and are pictured below as they look today.

If you were granted a wish to bring back one shop from the list (or from any other time), which would it be?

1/2 Columbian Cafe and Restaurant
3 Pic a Card
4 Radio Rentals
5 Adams Childswear
7 Parslows of Reading (Bakers)
8 Savory and Moore (Chemist)
9 Currys Ltd (Electrical)
10 Sketchley (Cleaners)
11 Dewhurst (Butchers)
12 K Shoes
13 Wigfalls Television
14 Frend & Co Limited (Jewellers)
15 Qualifruit
16 Halfords (Cycles / Motor Accesories)
17 H L Textiles
18 British Gas (Southern)
19 John Lane Ltd
21 Mister Mint
22 F W Woolworth & Co Ltd
23 Gateway Foodstore Ltd
24 Times Furnishing Ltd
25 H Samuel (Jeweller)
Long Serving Shop
26 Clays (Butchers & Greengrocery)
26a Dorothy Perkins (Female Clothes)
Long Serving Shop
27/28 Boots (The Chemist)
Long Serving Shop
29 The Gift Centre
Long Serving Shop
30 Centre News
32 Foster Bros Clothing Co Ltd (Male)
33 Focus Shoes
34 Lemon Plaice
35 Oxonian Travel Service
36 Abbey National Building Society
37 Mr Candy
37 Swiss Chalet
37 Gerrards Ltd (Greengrocers)