Heritage Open Day (Sunday)

Patrick and the Town Crier led the Abingdon Boundary Walk this Sunday morning as part of Heritage Open Days.

The walk started round by St Helen’s Wharf.

There was also a morning walk about Victorian Abingdon around the Albert Park area, led by Jackie Smith – the town archivist.

In the afternoon, the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers were dancing in the Market Place.

Two other guided walks set off at 2:30pm.

One was the Lost Abbey Walk,

who went in search of the Lost Abbey.

The other walk was around the Edible Abingdon plots.

There was an information stall, on the Market Place, where people could sign up for the walks or pick up self guided walk leaflets.

In the Abbey Buildings, Mr Busby of Busby Bees was telling people about the history of bee keeping.

The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers arrived soon after to do some more dancing.

Lastly, the Lost Abbey walkers arrived for cakes and coffee.

Heritage Open Day – Edible Abingdon (Saturday)

Heritage Open Day returned better than ever this year. The Mayor of Abingdon-on-Thames looked round the stalls on the Market Place. They included an information stall, food stalls similar to those seen at Local Excellence Markets, and a stall where the Abingdon Community Fridge made soup out of left over vegetables, aided by young families.

The Town Crier announced what was happening from the County Museum roof, and you can hear him still on the video above. There were also children’s activities in the museum.

There were not as many open properties because we are still in strange times. But those that were open had a lot happening. At St Ethelwold’s house the Abingdon Carbon Cutters were pressing and bottling apples. On the lawn people there enjoying the cakes and drinks in the sunshine. There were also 2 talks on the history of the house, rooms to look round, and an art exhibition.

Cakes were also available at the Abbey Buildings. The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers were on in the afternoon.

A monastery garden had been created by Heather and Oliver in the grounds of the Abbey Buildings, and Mike, in the video above, explains how the herbs could treat common complaints agues, bad humors, and cold stomachs.

Christ’s Hospital Hall was open thanks to the charity’s governors.

At St Nicolas Church, Elizabeth Drury had made a food related exhibition from many pictures of old farms, old shops etc.

There was a blue plate scheme showing food outlets from the past. Fabulous Flowers once sold groceries and provisions and they had a hanging pheasant in their floral display. They will be displaying flowers at the Chelsea Flower Show next week. (Possibly a separate post on that).

There was a lot going on at the Guildhall with films on a loop in the Roysse Room. In the Old Magistrates Court at 4 pm, W T Mellor, former head brewer at Morlands, told the audience about the history of beer, and then a history of brewing in Abingdon. Earlier in that room the new WWI Abingdon website was launched. The other old rooms were also open to look round. The Bear Room had old menus from big meals that happened there.

Well done to Hester and the rest of the fantastic team for a great day. More tomorrow with walks, and some open properties.

The Abingdon Workhouse Trail (New in 2021)

The Abingdon Union Workhouse existed for almost 100 years, and was big enough to house 500 people. There is a trail you can follow during Heritage Open Days to see how they lived, what they ate and what they did, then you can see how the land became houses in the 1940s. There is also a quiz and a treat for children.

The trail guide is available from the information stall on the Market Place on Saturday 18th September 2021 or downloadable on a link from Abingdon Heritage self guided walks.

Homebase – Now Open

The Homebase store opened this morning at the Fairacres Retail Park and will be open seven days a week – Monday – Saturday (9 am – 8 pm) and Sunday (10 am – 4 pm).

They had: kitchen units, bathrooms, furniture, storage units and flexible wardrobes, gardening and outdoor, painting and decorating, tools, flooring, lighting, and probably much more if you look (they had sewing kits and cotton at the end of one aisle).

The Fairacres Retail Park was demolished and rebuilt in two phases. The old Homebase was demolished during phase 2. It has been a nice surprise that Homebase has returned, and a pleasure to look round the smart new Homebase this evening. There were people on hand, including the store manager, to answer questions.