Shakeshop move and freedom not full freedom


A sign has appeared in the window of Shakeshop in Stert Street to say they will be moving to a bigger place in August.

The new place will be 18 Bury Street, the old Southern Gas showroom – where many of us bought our first cooker.

The word ‘freedom’ was used by Southern Gas in 1974 to promote cooking with the latest cooker.

July 19th 2021 is the delayed freedom day, the move to Step 4 and the end of the COVID-19 legal restrictions. A lot of businesses, and organisations, will not take full advantage of the new freedom yet. There has been a large rise in COVID-19 cases since the move to Step 3 and the delta variant.

Original artwork by local artists


There were original paintings in the garden room at St Ethelwolds,

and sculptures, prints and cards in the garden.

From 16th-19th July, Caroline Ritson, Marion Owen and Bruce Bignold are exhibiting their work.

Bruce has some fun watercolours of buildings in Abingdon.

Caroline has a passion for seascapes.

Marion paints landscapes in a variety of styles.

The garden was a pleasant place to be on such a lovely morning.

The flowers looked spectacular in the sun.

Wooden structure / sculpture on roundabout


Carol says ‘a wooden structure / sculpture has appeared on the roundabout at the junction of Caldecott Road and Drayton Road – any information on who designed it and why it is there?

I have no information. But I have started looking at the evidence.

The Oxford Wood Recycling workshop and warehouse is off that roundabout. They have a large number of crates in their carpark waiting to have the nails removed. I did suspect them at first. I wondered if this was a way to advertise their presence. But then I thought they would have made a pyramid of pallet wood.

I did wonder if it could be the work of the famous Abingdon artist, River Banksy,  who carves animals out of wood at Abingdon Lock. But this is too abstract and too far from the River Thames.

This structure look like the wigwams to be found in woodland areas. This wigwam of branches is well made, it looks good from all sides and has some colourful flags made from net bags to attract attention. As we are nearing the end of the academic year it could be the final project of somebody doing an arts course.

Kingfisher Canoe Club activities have restarted


The Kingfisher Canoe Club started regular activities from their new club house about three weeks ago, and there were colourful canoes out on the River Thames this evening.

On Tuesday and Thursday evenings the club have beginner sessions. On Wednesday, and at other ad-hoc times, there are outings for club members.

Planning permission for the new club store / changing facility at Abingdon Lock was gained in 2019 and a Sport England grant of £36,000 and other grants paid for the facility. A lease for the land was granted by the Environment Agency. The easing of lockdown restrictions has allowed activities to restart.