Future of Vale of White Horse district survey – just 4 days to go

White Horse
Vale of White Horse district councillors have put together a plan for the future of the district and they want you to let them know what you think of it.

The survey – launched in July – is a chance to have your say on the priorities for the council in the next few years. The survey will run until Thursday 13 August so a few days to go.

Councillors have identified six areas they need to focus on:

Theme 1: Providing the homes people need
Theme 2: Tackling the climate emergency
Theme 3: Building healthy communities
Theme 4: Building stable council finances
Theme 5: Working in partnership with other organisations
Theme 6: Working in an open and inclusive way

The Survey is at https://survey.southandvale.gov.uk/s/Valecorporateplanfeedback/
White Horse

CATtitude

Churchyard Cat
Those green eyes out-stare me from between the tombstones.

The churchyard cat is often to be seen in St Helen’s Churchyard among the graves and wandering freely along the pavements and gardens beyond.
Churchyard Cat
It helps itself to rats, and mice, and might honour you with a visit in return for some food.

It does not look to be the sort of cat to curl up on your lap. It is aloof and has cattitude.

Ongoing building work in Abingdon

Building
The ex Vauxhall dealership – Bellinger – have almost completed their transformation into Churchill retirement apartments.
Building
Reserving Now signs have replaced Caution – Reversing Vehicles.
Building
The second half of the Fairacres redevelopment has metal cladding and a roof line that looks dead level from the car park side,
Building
and from Nuffield Way.

The old red pillar box has been kept in place during the demolition and building work. It is held up on a plug of concrete until building work is complete.

Peace Tree and Abingdon Camera Club

Camera Club
The Radio 4 PM program today had a piece about 170 trees at Hiroshima that survived the atom bomb blast 75 years ago today.  Seedlings from those trees have been planted around the world to show there is hope – whatever.

There is a tree in the Abbey Grounds planted by the Abingdon Peace Group ‘in Memory of All Victims of War.’
Building
I met some members of Abingdon Camera club, gathering in the Cattle Market car park. They have been meeting virtually and their first physical meeting was to be in the Abbey Grounds. For Peter, who sometimes sends me pictures, this was his first outing since the start of the lockdown. If he sends me any pictures I will add them to this post.

The clouds were high in the sky, and the air was getting warmer after some cool cloudy days. Tomorrow is predicted to be hot.
Churchyard Cat
Sally sent me this picture of the peace vigil at the war memorial that morning. Peter sent pictures but we have a problem that they got bounced so I will try to find why.

The Abingdon Fire Service and N.F.S. No 15

Markers
I am always interested to discover old Abingdon poems and verses and recently found a verse in a book on The Abingdon Fire Service (1871 – 1945) by John Hooke.

During WWII the Abingdon Fire Service helped in the national effort and went to places to put out the fires after the Blitz bombing. They arrived in Coventry after a 60 mile journey. It was complete chaos. ‘See those Almshouses, Leslie, the incendiaries have only just started their work of destruction. We could put them out with a drop of water – but there is no water in the mains. Look out! A stick of bombs fall on the cross roads where we had been standing only seconds before, two firemen just disappear.’

Town fire services were nationalised for greater efficiency and central control and to ensure uniform standards. The Abingdon Fire Service became part of National Fire Service No 15 (Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire).
Markers
Getting water appeared a problem for the fire service. In Abingdon a static water tank was put in the Market Square and aroused some criticism. A verse appeared in the North Berks Herald and is reprinted in the book …

A hole has appeared in the Market Square!
Now who in the deuce could have put it there?
Everyone is ‘hollering out’
And asking ‘What is it all about?’
The ‘whole thing seems extremely rum
Oh! Is it to be an aquarium?
Or maybe a Lido they’ll install
(High diving from the old Town Hall!)