Farewell to the Band Hut: Abbey Brass Band Looks to the Future

In 1986, the Abbey Brass Band acquired six portacabins from Culham and assembled them next to the Open Air Pool near the Abbey Meadow. Band members and their families put a lot of effort into transforming those portacabins into a space where the band could rehearse and train.

The Band Hut has served the band well for over 30 years, until early 2020. Many young people have first played a brass instrument in that ‘temporary’ hut.

Unfortunately, a survey conducted in September 2020 by the Vale of White Horse revealed the hut was no longer fit for purpose. The roof was beginning to sag and it was vulnerable to vandalism.

Demolition has been happening over the last week, and the final section of the structure was demolished today. The land where the band hut stood will be cleared and levelled.

The band performed at the Mayor Making last week. They now rehearse in Fitzharrys School. See https://www.abbeybrass.com/.

Oxfordshire Artweeks is here!

This three-week festival celebrates visual arts across the county, with the final week showcasing artists in South Oxfordshire, from May 18th to 27th.

Abingdon has a lot of artistic talent on display this year with about a dozen exhibitions and studios. Find all the details on the website https://www.artweeks.org/, in art trail leaflets, or in the full festival magazine.

One exhibition space that is new to me is the 3rd floor of The Charter, Broad Street, Abingdon. The Charter Studios is organised by Makespace Oxford who look to use underused buildings. Some of the artists have studios there and are displaying their work.

The 3rd floor can be reached by lift or stairs and it is interesting to look around and see the variety of artwork.

There are also the results of some community projects, organised by Makespace Oxford, such as a postcard project.

Trip to Wembley – Three Generations

Thanks to Pete for this …

Three generations set off from Abingdon: Wendy & Pete with son Christopher & nine-year-old grandson James.

Nine-year-old James was impressed by his first sight of the vast arena.

This picture was before the game so I can’t imagine what James looked like after the game.

Oxford United secured a thrilling victory against Bolton Wanderers, winning 2-0, marking their return to the second tier of the English Football League after a 25-year absence. The jubilant Oxford fans could be heard around Abingdon, after their return, shouting “Yell-ows!” and “We’re going up!”

Come on You Yellows!

Topsport on Wootton Road will close early at noon this Saturday to allow Steve, the owner, and his family to cheer on Oxford United in the League One playoff final against Bolton at Wembley!

Steve apologises for any inconvenience caused. A lifelong Oxford United supporter, he remembers their 1986 Milk Cup victory (he still proudly sports the horned hat!). He’s seen the Yellows through thick and thin, from the old First Division’s highs to the Conference League’s lows, and back up to League One.

Due to centralised stock sales from the Oxford United shop at the Kassam this year, Topsport cannot get Oxford United merchandise like scarves, hats, and rosettes, and so there is not a lot of yellow in the window. But it does say after his apology about closing early, ‘Come on You Yellows!’

His colleague Tim has made one window display for the all-Manchester FA Cup Final, and the other for EURO 2024, where England compete.

Topsport will be 50 years old in November 2025.