The bells of St Helens were ringing for some newly weds who came up East St Helen Street on a tandem.
They were cheered on their way by people on the Market Place, then rested for a few moments at the Abbey Gateway, to allow the walking guests to catch up, and take some pictures.
The quarterly Local Excellence Market is in town today. This is a chance for local food producers, craftworkers and retailers to sell their goods.
There are three stalls there for the first time, adding variety to the evolving market
Others such as the Country Market are now there now as regulars. The Country Market also host their own market at the Charter on the 2nd Saturday of the month.
There are also a couple of stalls promoting up and coming events:
There were fitness people promoting a new gym that will open in two weeks time on the Fairacres Estate, opposite Furniture Village. They are called Anytime Fitness.
And Oxfordshire Artweeks runs from 7th – 30th May. Most of the Abingdon events will be in the second week as artweeks moves to South Oxfordshire. The first week centres on Oxford, and the third week North Oxfordshire.
At the Clubs and Societies event, the Mayor of Abingdon, Councillor Helen Pighills, and the Chair of the Vale of White Horse District Council, Councillor Mike Badcock, were there talking to stall holders.
The Abingdon Scottish Country Dancer Club say on their web site ‘So long as you are willing to have a good time, there is no restriction on age. The Abingdon club has members who won’t see seventy again and much younger dancers, all of whom enjoy Scottish country dancing in their own way.‘ All are welcome. You don’t even have to be Scottish.
Another of the groups at the event were the CSMA club, the Civil Service Motoring Club. To join this club I believe you have to have served in the Civil Service, but they may one day change the rules to allow all public sector workers. They meet at Preston Road Comminity Centre in Abingdon and have done for many years.
The Abingdon Carbon Cutters, are helping to tackle climate change. We have been burning fossil fuels in larger and larger amounts for over 300 years, and Abingdon Carbon Cutters are trying to make a difference locally.
The official launch of Host Abingdon will be on 10th May
They had a stall at the Clubs and Societies day. Their aim is to find host families who will provide emergency accommodation as part of the existing Host Oxford Initiative. A fund has also been established to make a room available at St Ethelwold’s for refugee accommodation. They have also set up language lessons, welcoming and befriending, and food donations.
Near them on one side at Clubs and Societies Day were Abingdon Artists. As well as frequent exhibitions, they have a programme of talks and demonstrations. On 12 May 2016 there will be a demonstration of pastels, and on 09 June 2016 A talk on Van Gogh.
On the other side of Host Abingdon were the Abbey Meadow Lace Makers who meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at Preston Road Community Centre from 09:30 to 15:30. They also have a fortnightly group at All Saints on Monday evenings for people who might like some tuition.
Rounding off today’s groups are Abingdon Lions – an international organisation started in the USA in 1917, who have a well established group in Abingdon, UK.
Ron Skinner, their president, will be jump out of an aeroplane at 15,000 feet for charity on 29th April. The money raised goes to Maggie’s Centre at the Oxford Children’s Hospital. His donation page is justgiving.com/ron-skinner111. This will be his first skydive and he is age 70.
There were lots of little goslings out with their parents this evening. They will need to keep warm through the current cold snap.
Looking across to St Helen’s Wharf, there are the very old Long Alley Almshouses (built 1446-7), and the newer Brick Alley Almshouses (built 1718-1720), and the pollarded Plane trees. They create a harmonious view with all those vertical lines in the water.
Next door is the Old Anchor Inn where new people have recently taken over.
At the Cricket ground somebody has made a fence out of pallets, possibly so they don’t loose their cricket balls quite so often.