Happy New Year 2022

‘Oyey Oyez Oyez! … God Bless the Queen and God Bless Abingdon.’ The start and the end of the Town Crier’s cry is always the same. It is just what goes in-between that changes. Today he said ‘Happy New Year and welcome to the walk of the ancient Abingdon bounds.’

The Abingdon Boundary Walk began on the Market Place at 11 am, just as the rain began. Minutes before, there had been sunshine from over the river and a grey sky everywhere else. The Town Crier accompanying the walk rang his bell and cried at a half dozen stops on the walk. At the Ock Valley, however, he said ‘I won’t ring the bell here. I’m just spending a moment listening to the birds as we can hear them over the sound of the traffic.’ He has a west country accent. More Bristol than the pure Berkshire once spoken by Abingdonians.

Information on the walk was provided by Councillor Helen Pighills who described the original boundaries and told us how a town official once swam over the River Thames from near St Helen’s Wharf because the boundary runs along the far bank. In another place we took the scenic route rather than sticking strictly to the route – in order to avoid a narrow pavement and the busy Drayton Road.

There was no group Christian Aid walk today. Instead walkers can make their own way round.

3 thoughts on “Happy New Year 2022

  1. The teacher

    In today’s “live here” review of the 50 worst places in England to live Abingdon came in at the 23rd place in England to live ! Just above Rochdale but below stains!

    1. Tim

      Excellent result!! That should help disuade any more ‘glass half empty’ whingers from moving to our lovely town.

  2. One of the Rachels

    When I was a teen there were still a few Berkshire accents to be heard. In fact I’d forgotten about it, I can hear it now. Reminds me that we live not in Oxfordshire but in Occupied North Berkshire. All the history records are in the Reading Archives and the Thames is the boundary between Mercia (Oxfordshire) and Wessex (Berkshire)


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