Abingdon 100 Years Ago – February 1924


Premier’s Daughter Recuperating
Miss Sheila MacDonald, the youngest daughter of Ramsey MacDonald, the Prime Minister, is recovering from a severe illness at Wick Hall near Abingdon. She is staying with Mr. William Docker Drysdale, a Berkshire magistrate. Despite differing political opinions, the families are close. Sheila is 13 years old.

Abingdon Division Polling Place
Mr. E. A. Lessing, the Member for the Abingdon Division, has taken action to address the lack of polling facilities in the widely-scattered division. He has reached out to the chairmen of all parish councils and meetings, highlighting provisions in the Act of Parliament and offering support to improve voting facilities.

Court Hearings

Motor Car Obstruction
In the Borough Police Court, Robert Stanley Godwin was summoned for obstruction after leaving his motor car in Stert Street, Abingdon, on the 12th of the month. A police constable testified that the car remained parked in the narrow street for an extended period, causing an obstruction to the main entrance of the town. Despite not appearing in court, Godwin acknowledged the offense in a letter. As a result, a fine of 10 shillings was imposed.

Cigarette Machine Theft
In the Borough Police Court, Albert William Goodenough, an 18-year-old labourer from Abingdon, was charged with stealing cigarettes from an automatic machine owned by Joseph E. Gibbens, a tobacconist in Abingdon. The prosecutor had noticed tampering with the machine, including the insertion of foreign coins and farthings instead of sixpences. Upon catching Goodenough in the act, he said, “I am sorry. I put a dud in. I did not mean to.” The accused’s grandfather vouched for his good character, stating he was employed at 21s. per week. Despite complaints about such machines being outside shops and a great temptation, Goodenough was bound over for 12 months, with his grandfather as surety.

Order for Eviction
At the County Bench, on Monday, Harold E. Alden, of Oxford, farmer, and butcher, applied for an order of eviction against Isaac Buckingham, the occupier of a farm cottage at Fyfield, belonging to the complainant. The Bench made an order for eviction within 28 days.

Social Events in Abingdon

Dance for Charity
A dance was held in the Council Chamber on Saturday evening in aid of the Home for Blind Babies. The music was supplied by Mr. F. B. Rawlinson’s band.

Literary and Debating Society
In connection with this society, a lecture was given at the Roysse Rooms on Monday evening by the Mayor of Abingdon (Mr. C. Rippon) on “How a modern newspaper is produced.”

Annual Social by Liberal Association
The Abingdon District Liberal Association held their annual social in the Corn Exchange. Mr. A. E. Lessing, M.P., was present and received an enthusiastic reception.

Conservative Social Gathering
A large number of members and friends attended the annual social meeting of the Abingdon and District Conservative Association. The event took place on Wednesday last in the Abingdon Corn Exchange, featuring a lively programme and an address on the political situation by Major Glyn, the Conservative candidate for the division.

Slate Entertainment
The Wesleyan Trinity Slate Club hosted a successful social evening, with membership nearing 150. They also initiated a holiday fund with weekly contributions. The “Graham Concert Party” provided enjoyable musical entertainment, with gratitude expressed by Rev. N. E. Dando, the Wesleyan minister.

Sunday School Tea
Congregational Sunday school scholars had a delightful tea and entertainment event. Mr. L. A. King entertained the children with magic tricks, and musical performances by various individuals were well-received. Buns, and oranges were distributed.

Abingdon Citizen’s Party
The Abingdon Corn Exchange on Friday evening was filled with happy young people at a children’s party given by Mr. A. E. Lessing, Liberal M.P. for the Division.


Deaths in Abingdon
During the month of January, the number of deaths in Abingdon borough was eleven. The ages ranged from 26 to 89 years.

Exam Success
Mr. Reginald Stacey, a resident of Abingdon, achieved success in the December examinations of the London Association of Accountants, passing the final examination. His educational journey began at the Abingdon Charity School, where he earned a scholarship at Roysse School. Subsequently, he gained valuable experience as a clerk at Messrs. Challenor and Son, solicitors in Abingdon, under the guidance of Mr. John Cowburn, an experienced Poor Law Clerk. In recent years, Mr. Stacey has been employed in the Taxation Department at the Oxfordshire County Hall in Oxford.


The Royal British Legion
During the annual meeting of the Berkshire County Council of the British Legion, Major-General Sir W. de S. Cayley reported significant progress in the county, with a total of 29 branches. New branches were established in various locations, including Burghfield, Maidenhead, Thiele, Twyford, and Lower Whitley. The Didcot branch, previously inactive, was successfully reorganized and was now thriving. However, branches in Abingdon, Woodley, and Pangbourne were at risk of disappearing. Efforts were particularly focused on saving the Abingdon branch, with the Council making vigorous attempts that could lead to success.

Philanthropic Institution Report
The annual report of the Abingdon Philanthropic Institution had increased giving to the “meritorious poor” in the borough.

League of Nations Union Meeting
A meeting of the Abingdon local group of the League of Nations Union were addressed by Professor Gilbert Murray who focused on the League’s efforts to prevent war and protect small nations.


Football Match Report: Wantage vs. Pavlova
Wantage Town faced Pavlova in the Reading and District League, Division 1, at Westfields, Abingdon. Despite a valiant effort, Wantage Town suffered defeat with a final score of Pavlova 3, Wantage 2.

Disciplinary actions
Reports emerged of disciplinary actions in various matches: C. Harris was censured for misconduct in a Stevenson vs. Drayton match, while R. Wootton received a 14-day suspension for misbehaviour in a match between Brightwell and Aston at Aston Tirrold. Furthermore, J. Erricker of Berks’ Mental Hospital was suspended indefinitely for kicking and striking a player after being ordered off the field in a match against Moreton in the North Berks League.

Local Billiards Match
The Abingdon Young Social Club hosted a billiards match against Pavlova, and won all four matches, and so kept up the club’s reputation of producing talent in the sport.

Thank you for the news extracts and adverts from the Reading Standard, Reading Observer and Oxford Chronicle and Reading Gazette in the British Newspaper Archive. Also, thanks to the North Berks Herald microfilm in Abingdon Library for the adverts.
Other pictures were:
Abbey Gateway in Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Tuesday 19 February 1924
Premier’s daughter in Leeds Mercury – Thursday 14 February 1924
Anglo Saxon Jewellery from Abingdon in the Illustrated London News – Saturday 16 February 1924

3 thoughts on “Abingdon 100 Years Ago – February 1924

  1. ppjs

    Interesting to see the poster for the Abingdon Kinema – with the “correct” K (like kinetic energy). It took me back to my Classics classes at school.

    What did the Romans do for us? Gave us a C in place of a K.

  2. One of the Rachels

    The brooch is the most interesting thing (other than Ramsey Macdonald’s daughter) – there was a big early Saxon cemetery on the location of Saxton Road.


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