Abingdon 100 years ago – July 1920

Abingdon 100 years ago
3rd July
The Roysse’s School War Memorial, which is to take the form of the extension of the school premises for the reception of more boarders, has its funds well subscribed to but £1,000 more is needed. The memorial tablet recently dedicated in the school chapel contains the names of 73 old boys and former members of the school teaching staff who fell in the war.

The funeral took place at Abingdon Cemetery last week, of Mr J Carter, of Bath Street, Abingdon, who passed away in his sleep, at the age of 83. He was for over 50 years in the employ of the London and County Bank, Abingdon Branch, where he was highly esteemed by the management and the customers. He had retired for a considerable number of years.

A garden party in aid of the S.P.G. Peace Offering Fund was held in the Abbey House Grounds, Abingdon, by permission of the Bishop of Reading, on Saturday last in connection with the Abingdon Church Sunday School and ‘King Messengers.’ The items included a pageant, Britons Call, given by the children in picturesque costumes of the several countries, both in the afternoon and evening. An exhibition of curios, old lace, etc was given in the Abbey House, and there were Stalls for the sale of work &c. Tea was served in the Roysse Room. Notwithstanding the dullness of the weather there was good attendance.

John Cooper, Abinger Road, Depford, was summoned for driving a motor cycle at excessive speed to the danger of public, in Ock Street, Abingdon, on June 18th. The constable said that defendant was driving at the rate of 20 miles an hour, and there were a lot of children playing in the street, John Wiblin, Ock Street, corroborated the constable. and the defendant, who did not appear, was fined.

10th July
The Abingdon War Memorial has now been decided upon. It is to be a monument, with a bronze figure of a soldier, the names of the fallen heroes to be inscribed at the base. The cost is estimated at £1,650 and is to be raised by private subscriptions.

Comrades Sunday was observed by the Abingdon Branch of Comrades in the Great War. They paraded in the Market Place on Sunday morning, and, accompanied by the Town Band, attended the service at St. Helen’s Church, after which they marched to the temporary war memorial and deposited a beautiful wreath.

Alexandra Day, for the benefit of local Hospitals, held at Abingdon on Saturday last, was greatly marred by the wet weather. There were three short performances in the afternoon in the Guildhall, and at a popular concert in the Corn Exchange in the evening the building was packed.

17th July
The Abingdon Master Bakers’ Association had their annual on Wednesday, which took the form of rivet trip by steamer to Streatley.

The birth and death returns for the past quarter by the Abingdon Registrar (Mr T. S. Simpson) includes Abingdon borough and adjoining small parishes, the population being 9,489 shows that there were 71 births (35 males and 36 females), and 31 deaths (17 males and 14 females). The births were 31 more and the deaths 8 less than in the corresponding quarter last year. Of the deaths 19 occurred m the Union (workhouse) and 6 in the local sanatorium.

The Stert Street Cinema, was re-opened after enlargement and refurbishment on Thursday afternoon last by the Mayor (councillor R. W. Langford) accompanied by the Mayoress. The afternoon performance was by invitation, with a collection on behalf of the local Cottage Hospital, and raised £49 3s.

24th July
The Abingdon Boy Scouts held a concert in aid of their summer camp fund in the Abingdon Corn Exchange on Thursday last, which was well patronised.

The Cottage Hospital Pound Day last week realised in money £43 10s 3d, which included besides donations, £9 5s 11d from tea and concert, children’s stall £7 8s 11d, and flower stall £3 Is 0d. The amount of goods of food etc., was 769 pounds, of which the school children contributed nearly 250 pounds.

On Monday evening last to celebrate the anniversary of the signing of the peace terms, a volley of eleven rounds was fired by the Abingdon Volunteers in a meadow near Abingdon Bridge, and the occasion was taken of arranging a collection for St. Dunstan’s Home for the Blind.

31st July
Abingdon Angling Society held their first roving competition on Saturday in last week, which was also counted as the first of the four competitions for the Daniel Gardner Challenge Cup. The prize winners were — lst, £1, W. James, five roach and one dace, 2 lb. 3oz. 2nd, 10s, James Gerring, five roach, 1 lb. 9 oz.; 3rd, 5s , Harry Hayward, two roach and a perch, 1 lb. 5 oz and 4th, 2s 6d, Harry Bennitt, three roach, 1 lb.

A fancy fair, organised by the Misses Randall, daughters of the Bishop of Reading, took place last Thursday week in the grounds of Alderman J. T. Morland. The stalls were well supplied with both useful and fancy articles, and both afternoon and evening were well patronised. The Abingdon Town Band gave selections for dancing in the evening. Net profits amounted to £65 16s 6d are are in aid of the Building Fund of the Abingdon Parish Hall.

The Venerable and highly esteemed Bishop of Reading and family are giving up their residence in Abingdon, known as The Abbey House, with its beautiful and historic grounds, and going to live at Bournemouth. The Misses Randall will be greatly missed in Abingdon, both as devoted Church workers and for their charitable dispositions.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive. The pictures are of a Thames steamer from a William Hooke postcard. I will add more relevant pictures if I can find them or people send them to backstreet60@gmail.com.

5 thoughts on “Abingdon 100 years ago – July 1920

  1. Hester

    Thanks Backstreeter, there are some really interesting snippets in here.
    I loved the bit about the man who “was summoned for driving a motor cycle at excessive speed to the danger of public, in Ock Street, Abingdon, on June 18th. The constable said that defendant was driving at the rate of 20 miles an hour….” Sadly things haven’t changed in the intervening century, except that if someone was going 20mph now they would probably be criticised for going too slowly.
    What was the “Abingdon Parish Hall” referred to towards the end? Was it the one at the back of St Nic’s – between that and Old Abbey House?
    Interesting to see that it was almost exactly a year ago that the Bishop of Reading decided to move out of Old Abbey House – that was what led to its purchase by the Borough Council for the people of Abingdon in 1923. It remained in their care until they were dissolved in 1974, since when it has been owned by the District Council. We are hoping to hear soon what their intentions are for its future.

    1. The lady

      I think everyone would love to know what is happening to Abbey house also the dilapidated hotel on the riverside

  2. PPJS

    I like the idea of a ‘rivet trip’. As a serial mis-typer, I like the typos that still make some sort of sense.

    I once produced a service sheet which offered a new carol “I saw three chips go sailing by”. It raised a few smiles.


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