The Oxford Caledonian Pipe Band led the parade at today’s Christmas Extravaganza in Abingdon.
Organised and funded by Abingdon-on-Thames Chamber of Commerce, with volunteers, the day was sunny, and brought in large crowds to Abingdon.
Father Christmas was accompanied by the Abingdon Lions. They will also accompany him round the estates of Abingdon from the 4th to 17th December.
Maleficent has been showing at The Abbey Cinema in Abingdon. She had escaped from the cinema screen and was there in the parade. The Abbey Cinema also had a stall on the Market Place featuring another Disney Film – Frozen 2.
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council were there in full regalia, led by the Mace Bearer.
Bath Street was closed to traffic during the Extravaganza. Along Bath Street were fair ground rides for children, stalls selling food, crafts,
and lots of Community Groups, including Abingdon Rotary,
and Friends of Radley Lakes.
At the end of Bath Street were some donkeys from the Donkey Sanctuary.
The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers elected Layla Moran to be Maid of the Mill. Layla was the MP for Oxford West and Abingdon, and is hoping to be re-elected . The Morris Dancers danced round Layla for a couple of minutes then lifted her in the air.
At St Ethelwold’s House Oxfam had their own Santa’s Sleigh with reindeer. St Ethelwold’s had Oxfam stalls, coffee and cakes, and music.
Members of the Abingdon Community Orchestra were crammed into the office performing carols. Last year they were forced to squeeze in there because of the rain. This year they did it from tradition. (Play the video and see if you can identify the carol.)
Abingdon Baptist Church were holding their own Christmas Fair, and had benefited from removing the pews and replacing them with easy-to-move seats.
St Nicolas Church still has half their pews with a flexi space at the back. They had tombola, raffle, and were selling lots of things. At the front were performances by the Abingdon Community Choir among others.
On the Market Place there were many more stalls and a Santa’s Grotto. Martin was there as official photographer. He is seen here with Joanna Page, Welsh actress and comedian, best known for her role as Stacey in Gavin & Stacey. I am looking forward to the Christmas Special reunion. Martin will have lots of photos on Facebook of the Extravaganza.
The Market Place also had a stage where groups performed during the day. This group sounded good.
Large crowds were there at six when Joanne Page turned on the Christmas Lights. This was followed by some super splendid fireworks.
The crowds then made their way home under the Christmas Lights.
There are Abingdon Scouts and Guides Christmas post boxes, where cards should be posted in the locations shown on the poster above.
The price to send a card is 25p and all money raised will go to the Scouts, and Guides.
The service will be on offer from now until noon on Monday, December 16th. The box shown above is at St Nicolas Church.
St Nic’s is open 10-4:30 Mon-Sat for Cards for Good Causes. There are cards from most charities you could think of, as well as advent cards and candles, decorations and wrapping.
There will be a husting for the general election on 2nd December. Questions need to be in by 28th November.
The candidates for the Oxford West & Abingdon constituency in 2019 are:
James Fredrickson – Conservative
Layla Moran – Liberal Democrat
Rosie Sourbut – Labour
Allison Wild – Brexit Party.
It may not be quite as exciting as the hustings in 1865, which I read about in the Reading Mercury in the British Newspaper Archive, but you never know, …
“On Monday last, the nomination of Candidates for the Representation of this County in Parliament, took place Abingdon. The hustings was erected in the Market-place, opposite the Queen’s Hotel. The windows at the County Hall, and every available space on the roof of the building, were crowded with ladies and gentlemen who appeared to take great interest in the proceedings. Special trains, engaged by both the Liberal and Conservative candidates, brought a considerable number of electors from all parts of the county, and although there was an absence of flags and banners, and even bands of music, the Market-place presented a lively and exciting appearance. The Conservatives mustered in great strength at the Crown and Thistle Hotel, and were first to march to the hustings. The Liberal candidates and their friends quickly followed from the Queen’s Hotel, and both parties were received with cheers from their supporters. During the progress of the proceedings, many noisy interruptions occurred, and the Conservative party were certainly not so courteous to the speakers on the Liberal side as their opponents were during the delivery of the Conservative addresses. It was evident that the Conservatives had done their utmost to bring together a large body of men, and it was also evident that some of their party possessed stentorian voices, which were freely and coarsely used to drown the unpleasant and distasteful remarks of gentlemen on ‘the other side.’ …”
Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council have provided a drinking fountain for the public in front of the Guildhall.
It has been inset into the external stairway to the Council Chamber, and is part of the recent refurbishment of the Guildhall. The fountain has been delayed because of the need to get planning permission and the right stones to fit the stairway.
I tried drinking directly under the tap and found the water jet quite strong, and probably better suited to filling up water bottles.
It will be added to the refill app (on mobile phones) ‘Find water on the go’.
‘Have you #GotTheBottle?’
‘Every time you refill your reusable, one less plastic bottle is used.’