Monthly Archives: October 2014

Cats in the Belfry

Marmite
When Marmite was little more than a kitten he disappeared from his house in West St Helen Street. The family went in search but none of the neighbours had seen the black and white cat.

A couple of days went by and the bell ringers at St Helen’s Church were practicing when their youngest member went up to the bell tower to check scrabbling noises they had all heard.

Up there he saw a poor frightened cat, and told the others not to ring the bells. He clambered across near the bells and managed to get hold of the cat, took it down and released it outside.
Marmite
Marmite re-appeared back home and the family were surprised and delighted wondering where he had been. He was very hungry.

Thanks to Isaac for this true life story from the Belfry, and to Jon for a picture of Marmite as a kitten.

Nags Head – 2 years on

Nags Head - 2 years on
Two years ago the Nags Head re-opened. It had been a failing pub and was closed for quite some time. During the first winter the pub was refurbished very tastefully and the first year was a success.
Nags Head - 2 years on
During the second winter decking was added to improve the island, and the second year has gone well.

More improvements are underway to landscape the near end of the island.
Nags Head - 2 years on
The pub now has it’s own beer, and as well being in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide for the second year running, has retained the title of Town & Country Pub of the Year.

To celebrate there will be a Beer Festival this weekend from 24th to the 26th October with 28 beers and 10 ciders.

Tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo blows into Abingdon

Tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo
Hurricane Gonzalo caused widespread damage when it hit Bermuda last week.

By the time the tail end of the storm hit Abingdon around midday today there was still enough puff to give the Town Flag a good flap.
Tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo
On street corners – like the one pictured on Bath Street – leaves were spun round in little whirlwinds.
Tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo
And out on the riverside walks near Abingdon it would have been sensible to wear a hard hat. I saw branches and twigs coming down.

It was still breezy this evening, and temperatures had dropped.

Subsidised Bus Routes Under Review

Abingdon Bus Routes Consultation
Every four years, certain local district bus routes, subsidised by Oxfordshire County Council, need to be reviewed to ensure they are giving Council Tax Payers value for money.

The current contracts run to the end of May 2015. New contracts will be put in place from June 2015. The consultation about these services is open until 15th November 2014.

The services are mainly rural and help people get out and about.

One service is of particular concern to Abingdon, The Abingdon Town Service, is chiefly used by elderly people without cars or bikes to get into town, and to the Community Hospital.

The County Council are looking to save money. They say “All of the Abingdon town service routes serve housing areas situated off main roads at a considerable distance from main routes.”

County Council Officers say savings can be made as “There is barely any recorded use of the Abingdon town services in peak periods: as a result the peak hour journeys provided by service 40 in the morning and late afternoon are likely to be withdrawn.

County Council Officers say “Usage reduces significantly in the afternoon, particularly on Saturdays. An earlier finish may provide an opportunity to reduce costs if necessary and protect the overall level of service for the busier part of the day.

But this is a democracy. Let them know if they have got it wrong.

Abingdon Marathon – The 33rd Running of this well organised event

Abingdon Marathon
The 33rd running of the Abingdon Marathon started at 9am from Tilsley Park this morning.
Abingdon Marathon
Many volunteers were there to help. Marshalls held back traffic at junctions to let competitors run free. They also cheered and guided runners round the course.
Abingdon Marathon
The event is organised by a committee of volunteers from clubs in Oxfordshire including Abingdon Amblers. The number of entrants is limited to 1100, and included a postman who was going for the posties marathon record carrying a heavy post bag. I have not heard yet whether he got round in time.
Abingdon Marathon
Many local Clubs and Societies helped. The Abingdon Air Cadets for example were at the turn by Abingdon Marina offering drinks.
Abingdon Marathon
There was even a feeding station offering Jelly Babies near Peep O Day Lane.
Abingdon Marathon
The course itself had some changes this year. What is a difficult road junction at the bottom of Preston Road was replaced by a ‘funny’ turn at Lambrick Way. Then near the end competitors were diverted along Farm Road.
Abingdon Marathon
It was another very well organised event. The winning men’s runner, Chris Jordon from Leicester Coritanian Athletic Club, is seen here with some of the See Saw volunteers who organised the catering at Tilsley Park.

636 runners completed the marathon within the time limit. There are pictures of the runners on the Abingdon Blog Facebook page.

Virtual Cycling Cambridge to Oxford and other events in town today

Virtual Cycling Cambridge to Oxford
A team of volunteers, staff and customers, have been “virtually” cycling the 100 miles from Cambridge to Oxford – two major research centres, to raise money for Cancer Research UK, using a static bike in the window of the shop in Bury Street, Abingdon from 9am – 4.00pm.
Virtual Cycling Cambridge to Oxford
There were outlines of Cambridge and Oxford on the shop window and a “You are here” indicator to show progress between.
Alzheimers Society Xmas Sale
Also in town this morning the Alzheimer’s Society Xmas Sale was in the Roysse Room, with jumble, Christmas decorations, and refreshments. It was not such a big event as previous years.
Alzheimers Society Xmas Sale
Abingdon Artists had their autumn exhibition in St Nics. As well as the members’ exhibits there was a chance to judge your favorite picture, and enter a raffle for the prize picture, a copy of a Van Gogh that one of the members had painted.
Alzheimers Society Xmas Sale
This is the first week of the ACF Crafts for Christmas Show at the Old Abbey Buildings, now into the 43rd year, and also open tomorrow and next week.

Old Books about Abingdon

Old Abingdon
The Abingdon Oxfam Shop has become more and more an Aladdin’s Cave in recent weeks with interesting items crammed in every nook and cranny. Last Saturday there was a group of books about Abingdon, many of them out of print. I was fortunate to get Historic Streets of Abingdon by Agnes C. Baker for £9.99. The original price in 1957 was One Shilling and Sixpence.
Old Abingdon
On Ebay this evening there was a lovely print of Abingdon Bridge – just one page taken from a book called “The Royal River – The Thames from source to the sea”, printed by Cassell and company Ltd and dated 1885. The book has been broken up to sell at £11.30 a page. The text alongside appears a bit mixed up … “Opposite the church at the side of the Market Place is the Market Cross, designed by Inigo Jones, erected in 1667, and far too extensively restored in 1853.