Abingdon County Hall Museum – Lift and Cupola

Work in Progress
The museum lift appears to be Out of Order more often than not. Perhaps outside lifts are just not that reliable.
Work in Progress
Meanwhile there has been scaffolding round the Cupola, at the top of the museum, for the last 2 or 3 months. English Heritage are investigating some unexplained noises.

24 thoughts on “Abingdon County Hall Museum – Lift and Cupola

  1. Geoff Bailey

    The lift down to the cafe seems to be permanently out of order.I can only ever remember seeing it used once and never by a disabled person.Another example of a white elephant.Many handicapped and disabled people have never visited the museum because of the stairs which even I find difficult.Its just a pity that money couldn’t have been spent on an internal lift-upwards, as was the original intention.

  2. Captainkaos2

    I never understood why a chair lift contraption wasn’t fired in the stairwell ? Like the Stana ones fitted in many residential care homes and even shops & restaurants ?

  3. Captainkaos2

    One for you Daniel? According to the Vale Vision newsletter circulated by email yesterday the Vale has earmarked £50k to carry out a feasibility study into parking across the district! It goes on to say a staggering £950k (yes almost a million quid) is to be spent on upgrading the charter car park, bang goes any hope of redevelopment there then ?

  4. Daniel

    …the only hope we have is that that part of The Veil has absolutely no idea what any other part of The Veil is up to.

    When I look back to what the concerns, gripes, groans and issues were when I first plonked myself down here 10 years ago…it makes me wince and shed a tear. There have been, in just that decade, numerous opportunities to really make something of Abingdon. A cobbled marketplace revamped with cobbles, The Lift at County Hall, the Old Gaol, even the traffic fiasco could have been something others aspired to!?

    But what have we got…

    We have had ample golden opportunities to get things right. Alas, the only saving grace now is we are running out of opportunities to mess up – Upper Reaches? Guildhall? Precinct? And now….the phase 2 if the Charter.

    What happens to Abingdon now doesn’t really matter…but just think what it could have been….

  5. davidofLuton

    If I recall correctly from the public meetings I attended with English Heritage, all options for a lift to the first floor, including options in the inner stairwell and a “floating” lift outside the building which would not touch the historic fabric…. all these options were tried by the council, but were nixed by English Heritage.

    I asked at one meeting whether anything said by the public would influence English Heritage’s decision, and they said “no”.

  6. Julian Annells

    I think I read in the Oxford Mail that the scaffolding for the weather vane has cost someone…£20k….for absolutely nothing…no faults found! Maybe a consultant should have been brought in first…it could have wasted 40k of taxpayers money then? ……another opportunity missed.

  7. Roland

    Daniel its a bit like “Bullseye”, look what you could have won ! , but that was Entertainment ?

    The situation you describe is more like Tragedy ?

  8. Rachel

    Oh please may they make the spaces big enough to get ones car into if they develop the charter car park. And get rid of the ruddy central concrete raised kerb between the two exit lanes. I no longer use this car park because I cannot get out of it without scratching my alloy wheels on this stupid hazard.

  9. Daniel

    David; my understanding was that the deciding vote regarding a “proper” lift was made by one chap from English Heritage….who never set foot in the town. And with that; we got what we did.

    God save us from the ex-spurts….

    But still…we’re getting a bigger Superdrug.

  10. Houdini

    It was the decision of English Heritage’s not to have the lift go up – didn’t want to damage the building by making access through one of the walls. The alternative was to go down and make access for the disabled, elderly, pushchairs etc and view the museum artefacts via a computer.

    Always was a stupid design – a lift without a roof – open to the elements? Not only would the lift bring people down but it would also bring the rain, leaves, rubbish too. Said from the start water would pour down inside – and that’s what’s happened so I understand.

    The basement was always damp and mouldy – still is. Take a good look next time you visit.

    The cupola? Should have been done properly when the building was renovated in 2010-2012. Or maybe the noise is the museum ghost …….. its been known.

  11. Daniel

    We *could* have had a proper lift. We only didn’t because of the opinion of one person, who never saw what he was voting on.

    At least the cost of the work on the cupola will be being covered by the guarantees etc of the renovation work. Won’t it? Surely?

  12. davidofLuton

    Your memories seem to be a little different to mine. My recollection is that the local EH board was happy with the proposed County Hall renovation, including the lift, but the national EH board overruled them.

  13. Angela

    David’s correct. EH also insisted that the lift to the basement must not include the roof that had been part of the design, or any roof, and guess what, when it rains it and the basement get wet!
    In answer to Geoff Bailey, comment 1, Ive seen many people use the lift, both wheelchair users and buggy pushers.

  14. Hester

    Just to pick up another item from this thread: has anyone else seen the Vale Vision Capt K refers to in post 3 – I don’t think I have had it either by post or email (although maybe my spam filter thought it was junk) and I can’t find it on their website. It sounds interesting reading – could you forward it to me Capt?

  15. Captainkaos2

    Hester, I’ve lost your email address ! If you still have mine send me one and I’ll forward the newsletter to you ?

  16. Julian Annells

    I think I read in the Oxford Mail that the scaffolding for the weather vane has cost someone…£20k….for absolutely nothing…no faults found! Maybe a consultant should have been brought in first…it could have wasted 40k of taxpayers money then? ……another opportunity missed.

  17. dch

    Just to pick up on a throwaway comment by Houdini, to say the basement is damp and mouldy is not the impression I get or the many others who use the cafe. It is a friendly place and there are activities for children and adults arranged throughout the year. All old buildings have their problems – they need sympathy, not criticism.

  18. Cassandra

    I would like to echo the comment of dch @ 19. The basement never seems damp or mouldy to me. I visit the cafe a lot and it is always warm and dry….and welcoming!! The staff and volunteers are doing a marvellous job with both the displays and the range of activities on offer. They deserve our support, and our thanks for all their hard work.

  19. Houdini

    Being damp and mouldy has nothing to do with the lovely staff. I’m just clarifying a problem that still remains in the basement. I can assure you 100% it is mouldy. You don’t see whats hidden. It’s a fine looking cafe, I use it and yes of course the building is amazing. The basement had far worse problems before the refit – just saying the damp is still lurking. The lift design doesn’t help in the corner either.

    Unexplained noises? Yes, can definitely agree on that too 😉


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