Abingdon 100 years ago – October 1921

8th October
Two skeletons were found last week at Abingdon. Workmen, in digging a trench for the laying of drain at the new houses on the Boxhill site on the Oxford Road, found the skeletons about three feet below the surface, one of which was in a partly upright posture.

The Abingdon Magistrates have fixed the following hours for the opening of licensed premises under the new Licensing Act: Sundays, 12.30 to 2 30, and 7 to 10; Mondays (market days), 11 30 to 4.30 and 7 to 10; other days, 10.30 to 2.30, and 6 to 10. About 20 of the licensed holders had petitioned for an extra half-hour in the evenings to 10.30.

Contracts accepted by the Abingdon Board of Guardians (workhouse) for the ensuing three months include bread at 9d per 4 1b, loaf; flour 62s per sack; beef ls 2d and imported 9d per lb.; mutton is ls 2d, and imported 9d per 1b.,-and milk 3d per gallon.

At a meeting of the Abingdon Branch of the National Farmers’ Union held on Thursday in last week, a scale of wages was recommended for able-bodied agricultural workers, as follows 39s per week of 51 hours up to October 29th, and from that time until further notice 36s per week for the same number of hours. Overtime to be at the rate of 9d per hour.

The Abingdon v Banbury Harriers game was played at Abingdon before a large crowd, on Saturday. Unfortunately the Harriers had to start with only nine players, Russell and Viggars sending a wire to the ground stating that they had travelled in the wrong train, and instead of arriving at Abingdon they found themselves at Paddington. The result was Harriers 1 Abingdon 0 after two substitutes were found early in the game.
15th October
Abingdon Michaelmas Fair took place on Monday and Tuesday last in gloriously fine weather. The ground taken up by showmen, &c., filled the Market Place, High Street, and a portion of Ock Street, occupying considerably more space than last year. There were the usual crowds, especially after six o’clock, when buses & trains from Oxford and outlying villages brought many visitors.

There was only a short supply of stock penned for sale at the market on Monday last, it being Michaelmas Fair Day.

The Abingdon Girls’ Club commenced their winter session on Wednesday. Classes have been arranged for needlework, singing, drill and dancing.

The Abingdon Fire Brigade have received the consent of the Town Council to issue an appeal in the town and neighbourhood for the purchase of a motor fire pump.

The Abingdon Town Council are going to take a referendum of the ratepayers as to the continuance of the building of a certain number of houses under the Council’s scheme, the resolution to that effect having obtained an equal vote of the Council at their last meeting.
22nd October
The Abingdon Runaway Fair took place on Monday last when the Market Place was fully occupied by roundabouts, switchbacks. &c., By permission the fair was held again on Tuesday evening, the stalls, &c., being allowed to stay.

On Abingdon Fair Tuesday last week a horse belonging to Mr Wigley, farmer, of Appleford, when being led on the outskirts of the fair, shied the roundabouts, and bolted through the large plate-glass window of Messrs Vineys’ drapers shop, and was severely hurt about the head.

A mixed Hockey Club has been formed in Abingdon, of which Mr J. B. Gibbens is the hon. sec.

The Abbey Lodge of Master Freemasons held their installation ceremony on Thursday evening in last week in the Abingdon Council Chamber, and afterwards dined in the Roysse Room, the company numbering about 50. Bro, A. E Wood was installed Worshipful Master.

At the Abingdon County Bench on Monday. Christopher Lower, a farm labourer, of Kennington, Radley, an ex-Service man with a good record, was sent to prison with hard labour for one month for exposing himself on the highway on several occasions between September 25th and October 1st.
29th October
The Abingdon Wesleyan Guild commenced their winter season on Wednesday evening by a debate on ‘Should women enter parliament?’ There was a good attendance.

The Abingdon Branch of the British Legion (Comrades of the Great War) commenced a series of winter whist drives on Thursday in their club rooms in Ock Street. There was a good number present.

The annual sale of work in support of Church Home and Foreign Missions and the Abingdon Church Memorial Hall took Place in the Corn Exchange on Thursday. The proceeds are estimated at £200.

Thank you for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette on the British Newspaper Archive.

10 thoughts on “Abingdon 100 years ago – October 1921

  1. Hester

    I am intrigued by the mention of the Town (Borough?) Council planning a referendum of ratepayers on proposals to build more houses. Did the referendum happen? What was the result? If the houses were built, which are/were they? Possibly Saxton Road, but I thought that was a bit later.

    1. Roger Thomas

      The Saxton Road Estate was started in 1934 or 1935. I don’t think the ones round St Nicolas School were started until the 1950s. The report about the skeletons suggests that houses on Boxhill Road (off Oxford Road) were being built in 1921 (too early to be a result of the referendum, if it ever took place).

    1. Roger Thomas

      Skeletons have been found at Bowyer Road, off Boxhill Road, in the past, and in a couple of other places between there and Northcourt.

      The ‘partially sitting’ position might indicate a prehistoric burial. These were sometimes in a crouched or ‘foetal’ position (lying on their side) rather than being laid out full length.

  2. Daniel

    I think that that development Hester was the first time the Lodge Hill diamond interchange was first asked to be upgraded…we’ve been waiting ever since!

  3. newcomer

    Interestilng to note that while the latest Bond movie is currently showing in Abingdon they had American hit picturization ‘Bunty Pulls The Strings’ playing at the 1921 Fair.

    “Bunty Pulls the strings is a picturization of the Famous play that made American audiences roar with laughter for many happy seasons. They’re all here-the Resurceful Bunty, the Awkward Weelum, the Door Tam Bigger, the shrewish Susie Simpson and the Whole Funny, Lovable Crew of Canny Villagers. (Print Ad-Republican-Journal, ((Ogdensburg, NY)) 16 August 1921)”

    It’s a litle known fact that, in those days, everyone had to wear a hat when they went to a picturization.


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