Monthly Archives: December 2014

Quick Review of 2014

Today’s Herald has a fuller roundup of the year, but I have run out of time to do 2014 justice except to say it went very quick …

In 2014 we sadly said goodbye to a number of well known Abingdon people. The funeral of Les Argyle, former Mayor of Ock Street, was on the blog in January, for what was a moving send off by the Morris Dancers.

One of the more spectacular blog pictures of the year came in February, when a tree came close to demolishing the Conduit House in Albert Park.

Our local recycling centre, in Drayton, has made a display of discarded Christmas decorations. I went there today to clear out some things that were beyond repair.

Our front door wreath was also recycled.

In March we got home to find that our son had recovered a wreath from a skip up the road. I wrote about the skip and some dangling guttering on this blog in a piece called “A Posh Skip in West St Helen Street.

April to October then just sped by…

Radio Abingdon Xtra stopped broadcasting in November. Their web site says “AbingdonXtra was a community radio station for Abingdon-On-Thames. Due to other commitments and funding it was closed down 20/11/2014. Thankyou to all out listeners, broadcasters and Sponsors.

And in December we have learned that Abode are to close. There were queues for the start of their closing down sale on 27th December. Their window poster says “It is with great sadness that we have finally decided to close our fabulous store in Coxeter House, Abingdon. The past few years have been very challenging in the retail sector, and the way people shop has changed dramatically.”

Abingdon Town Centre Shop Changes in 2014

Changes in 2014
Press on Changes in 2014 for a bigger pdf version.

Green is a shop that was vacant at the start of the year which is now occupied.
Yellow means a change of name.
Red is a vacant shop premises that was occupied at the start of the year.

Change in 2007 ( 6 green, 5 yellow, 10 red ) – Net Loss 4
Change in 2008 ( 10 green, 8 yellow, 13 red ) – Net Loss 3
Change in 2009 ( 9 green, 6 yellow, 6 red ) – Net Gain 3
Change in 2010 ( 9 green, 6 yellow, 5 red ) – Net Gain 3
Change in 2011 ( 2 green, 8 yellow, 5 red ) – Net Loss 3
Change in 2012 ( 6 green, 1 yellow, 7 red ) – Net Loss 1
Change in 2013 ( 6 green, 8 yellow, 6 red ) – Net Change 0
Change in 2014 ( 6 green, 8 yellow, 6 red ) – Net Change 0

Welcome to:
Bildio (barber)
Breckon & Breckon (Estate Agent)
Efes (barber)
Ox Vapours (Electronic cigarettes)
Sparkle & Dream (children’s party and clothes)
Valetina (fashion)
Vodafone (mobiles)
William Hill (bookmaker)
Yellow House (English Language Teaching)

Goodbye to:
Abingdon Fashion
Harp (pub)
Hatton Goldsmiths
Honey Pot (flowers) – continue to operate without shop
Local Craft (Pop Up Shop)
OX14 Deli
Redmayne-Bentley Stockbrokers
Something Silver (clocks)
Sweet Chocolate – stocked now by Simon’s News

Move to new premises:
Frend & Co (watches & jewellery)
Belinda’s Jewellery Box

Change to similar business in same premises:
Al Zaib to Majliss
The Lemon Grove to Mezzah House
Badgers to Dapper Street

(let me know any mistakes in this annual roundup)

Boxing Day – Abingdon Market Place – 10am

Boxing Day
At 10am Abingdon Freewheeling gathered for a medium paced ride of around 30 miles starting at Abingdon Market Place.
Boxing Day
Nearby, at 10am Fat Face opened their doors for the start of the sales.
Boxing Day
At 10am members of the MG Car Club had begun to gather for the annual Boxing Day run starting from Abingdon Market Place. The route was about 34 miles ending at the Dog House at Frilford Heath
Boxing Day
Over 40 MGs gathered to take part.

A Subdued Christmas in Abingdon 100 years ago

During 2014 there have been a number of events in Abingdon commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I.
Subdued Christmas
Abingdon Library are still collecting information about people from Abingdon who served in WWI.

In the Abingdon Free Press and Didcot News, 100 years ago, there is a comment that Christmas celebrations, at home, should be subdued because of the vacant places round the hearths of many families with sons, and older brothers, serving in places of danger – even more so, because of bereavements – “Weep with those who weep.”
Subdued Christmas
The Oxford Picture Journal published pictures of service men killed or injured from Oxford and surroundings towns and villages. Those pictured as killed in action from Abingdon included:
Private King of 22 Ock Street killed on Sep 10 1914 at Mons in Belgium
Private Bowler of 54 Vineyard  killed  Sep 18 1914 in Belgium
Lance Corporal Luker of 24 West St Helen Street killed Oct 1914
Private Alford of Winterbourne Road
Private Stanley of 8 Ock Street killed Oct 28 1914 at Zonnebeke in Belgium
Private Denton of Victoria Road killed Oct 21 1914 in Belgium
Private Blagrove of 202 Ock Street killed Nov 13 1914  at Zonnebeke in Belgium

The Free Press also mentioned that the members of the Royal Naval Air Service, billeted in Abingdon, had arranged a ‘capital’ concert at the YMCA Social Club Rooms in Ock Street.

In the same paper there is another comment – some local traders were asking why fewer service men were billeted in Abingdon compared to other towns. Service men were good for trade.