Europe Day – 9th May

Thankyou to Brian who sent this picture celebrating Europe Day! It shows the European Flag flying above the County Hall Museum in Abingdon.

Brian says, ‘It has been the flag of the Council of Europe since 1955. The UK is a founding member of the Council and, of course, is still a member.’

‘Much later, in 1985, the same flag was also adopted by the EC.’

Elections in Abingdon – with pandemic regulations

There was a cold frosty start to Thursday, the May election Day. Voting started at 7am and ended at 10pm. There was some sunshine during the day but it never got very warm.

People working at the polling stations began work at about 6 am to get everything ready. This included the usual things such as unpacking and putting together the polling booths, and new things such as one way arrows, and screens between officials and voters, and hand gel.

Entry to the polling stations was from one end, and exit from the other, where possible. Doors were left open for a free passage of air.

The election was for Oxfordshire County Councillors, Police and Crime Commissioner, and a Town Councillor for Fitzharris Ock Ward.

At the Guildhall, where I voted, you were expected to wear a facemask, and were asked whether you had brought your own pen, and the booths were wiped between use.

There was no entry through the Cinema doors which open from May 17th with Nomadland, Six Minutes to Midnight, and Peter Rabbit 2.

I saw Chris Palmer delivering leaflets at 7:10 in the morning near the Reynolds Way shops. He said the postal vote was up on usual but it was difficult to predict voter turnout or how it would go. He was standing in South Abingdon. The usual Conservatives, Mike and Marilyn Badcock, had retired after many dedicated years of service to that part of town. Their long term opponent, Neil Fawcett was still there standing for the Lib-Dems. Neil has worked for the Lib-Dems as a professional campaign manager, and brings his campaigning skills to Abingdon and his impressive deep voice to debates.

Alison Rooke the Lib Deb candidate for East Abingdon rang me early on Thursday afternoon to see if I had voted, then asked if I had voted for her.

It took longer to count the results than usual because of the pandemic restrictions. The voting was on Thursday and the results were counted on Sunday. The Lib-Dems have won all three Abingdon seats as in the last election in 2017. Here are the winners and their winning margins:

There was also a Town Council election which the Lib-Dems won.

The new councilor replaces the energetic and free-thinking Jeanette Halliday, seen here before the 2011 C and W bun throwing.

Displays in Abingdon Library for Local History Month

Daniel sent me some pictures of the exhibition which includes some of his aerial views of Abingdon, upstairs in the library. The display, put together by Elizabeth Drury, also has a board of Abingdon in the 1950s, and another of Victorian times.

Then in the case are pictures of the River Thames at various times.

Some of Elizabeth’s past and present books can also be seen.

The library also has a local history display downstairs for May is Local History Month. The aim of the month is to increase awareness of local history. The town council website has a local history portal put together by the Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society (AAAHS).

Heavy Hail Storm

There was a heavy hail storm that left a layer of slushy ice on the ground, and running water on the paths. Thunder roared overhead and the chap who sits under a tree in all weathers with his dog decided to make a move.

People had been gathering at the bowls club but they all left and drove off during the hail storm. The pitch was covered and, if our lawn is anything to go by, it took an hour or two to melt.