Returning to Abingdon after a couple of days away we were greeted by the bells of St Helen’s Church. Tuesday is the weekly practice for the Abingdon Bell Ringers.
St. Helen, the mother of Emperor Constantine, is not only remembered as the name of the church, but also in the road names: East and West St Helen Street, and more recently St Helen’s Court.
The current ecclesiastical parish is called Abingdon-on-Thames, following the separation of the Parish of North Abingdon two or three years ago. In earlier times St Helen’s parish got divided into Abingdon Borough and St Helen without the borough. St Helen Without includes Dalton Barracks, Shippon and Dry Sandford.
Thank you to Steve for this (pictures from his postcards all rights reserved) …
I know of three cannons that were on display in Abingdon, all of which, I am told by long gone family members, were captured during the Crimean War. Two were taken away for scrap metal in the 2nd World War.
The first was on a plinth in front of the walk-way under the arch by St Nicolas church. (There is much loved tradition of holding your breath while going under the arch. Failing to do so turns you into one of the stone gargoyles above it.)
The second and much smaller was in the court yard of the Crown & Thistle and I vaguely remember this one.
The third and most impressive sat on a purpose made plinth in Albert park. I remember the now gone empty plinth and the inscription “Sevastopol” upon it.
Thinking of cannons brings this boulder to mind. It is in the Abbey gardens next to Trendell’s Folly. Look carefully and you can see cannon balls embedded in it. We were told they were from the civil war but i’m not so sure. The rock doesn’t resemble anything else in Abingdon which makes me wonder if Mr Trendell, rich as he was, had the boulder, complete with cannon balls, brought in to enhance his folly.
I lost count of the number of pen knife blades I broke trying to get one out!
Thanks to VWHDC for the press release, and Elizabeth for the picture…
Abingdon’s Abbey Meadow outdoor pool will be open for longer on weekdays after proving to be a huge hit since its £1.3million refurbishment by Vale of White Horse District Council.
Since it reopened on 16 June, the pool has hosted more than 13,000 swims with many sessions fully booked. The exceptional weather combined with the popularity of the new facilities has prompted the council, following discussions with GLL – which runs the pool on the council’s behalf – to announce it will extend the pool’s opening hours.
From Thursday 2 August the pool will open from 8.30am until 7pm, Monday to Friday – that’s an extra half an hour in the morning and an extra hour in the evening, which the council hopes will give people more time to swim.
Cllr Alice Badcock, Cabinet Member for Leisure at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “It’s so fantastic to see how popular this much-loved local pool has become since its rebuild. We’re delighted that we can extend the pool’s opening hours so even more people can enjoy it.”
This weeks Herald has an article ‘Keep outdoor pool open longer for workers plea.‘
In order to allow GLL to re-populate its online booking system with the new extended times, online booking beyond 2 August will only be available from Monday 30 July.