Monthly Archives: February 2020

Leap Year Proposal

Leap Year Proposal
I am not aware of any proposals made at the Happy to Chat Bench in Abingdon Market Place today.

A second, more secluded, Happy to Chat Bench can also be found at St Helen’s Wharf. Perhaps something happened there.

I did read of a leap year proposal in the British Newspaper Archive with the title ‘O, Tis Love! Tis Love! (, from 1844.

At Abingdon, a youth named Robins was tried at the assizes for the unlawful abduction of Jane Willavize, a  “miss in her teens,” and the daughter of a rich farmer. The prisoner, a good-looking young man of 19, was the prosecutor’s under-carter ; and having won entrance into the heart of Miss Jane, her apartment was one night found empty. Robins’s room was also empty. The young folks in fact, had fled. 

The farmer was given a tip off and discovered them in private lodgings at Old Brentford, and gave the young man into custody, charged with abduction, the damsel being under age. At the trial, when examined, Miss Jane said the prisoner had found favour in her eyes, and they courted together secretly. It was not he who had proposed to run away with her. She proposed to him, this being a “leap year.”

The jury after hearing the story, convicted the prisoner of abduction, and the judge fined him ONE SHILLING which was paid immediately. The sentence was received with loud applause to the great scandal of the court crier.

Kennington Memory Club – 4 weeks to the Spring Sale

Kennington Memory Club
The Kennington Memory Club is a local day centre where people with a diagnosis of dementia can meet in a safe, friendly, supportive environment for company and interesting activities. Its members come from a wide area round Kennington ,including Abingdon, Cumnor, Steventon and Bayworth.

Activities are tailored as much as possible to members’ interests and skills but a typical day might be:
• Arrival & welcome
• Hot drink & biscuits
• Gentle chair exercises
• Games e.g. Skittles or Mini Golf
• Lunch
• Memory games e.g. Higher or Lower
• Hot drink & biscuits
• Music quiz including sing-a-longs
Sometimes guests come and run specific activities e.g. Pets as Therapy dog, or playing music.
Kennington Memory Club
In four weeks, when Spring is here, they have a Sale in St Nicolas Church, Abingdon. I will give a reminder nearer the date.

For information about the club, either volunteering or having a taster session, visit their website

The school run accounts for a large proportion of rush-hour traffic

school run
At ten past eight this morning, some snow was falling. I overheard some school pupils saying there would need to be more snow to settle. A biffa lorry collecting trade waste outside the Helen and Douglas charity shop did not hold up the slow flow of traffic. A man was positioned to throw the dozen bags in the back while the traffic waited in West St Helen Street.

Traffic is back to its normal school day pattern. Last week during half term there were much smaller queues. I read on a site called Walking to School, ‘The average drive to school and back releases 800g of CO2 into the air – enough to inflate over 60 balloons.’

Lent Lectures

Lent Lectures
The Church-in-Abingdon’s Lent Lectures 2020 will be held each Monday in March at 8.00pm at St Helen’s Church.

The five public lectures by The Revd Dr Charles Miller look at the Chapel of the Rosary, designed and decorated by Henri Matisse. The lectures will be art appreciation, and spiritual lessons drawn from the chapel

In 2015, Revd Dr Charles Miller led a similar art-inspired series of lent lectures on the frescoes of Fra Angelico in the San Marco Dominican Convent in Florence.

Lent is a period of reflection and preparation in the run up to Easter. Easter Sunday is 12th April this year.

Lent begins today on Ash Wednesday. St Helen’s join for an Ash Wednesday service at St Michael & All Angels Church at 7.30 pm. There is a Mass at Our Lady and St Edmund Church at 7 pm. Christchurch has a 8 pm service.