Author Archives: Backstreeter

Monday Market with sunshine (snow and rain reminders)


Martin has the Abingdon 2023 calendar on sale on his Monday Market Stall, beginning with a picture of a snowy January.

August has started dry with blue skies and warm sunshine. The butcher has been missing from the Monday Market for a few weeks now, but the fish van has been there.

Sunflowers were selling well from the flower and plant stall.

A crochet pattern showing a sandy beach is on the Market Place post office box.

The High Street is bright and light; many wear summer shorts and dresses. The Abbey Meadows by the River Thames, with the splash pad and open-air pool, with ice creams on sale, is like the Abingdon Riviera.

At Trinity Church, the scouts are back after camping in North Yorkshire, where they did have rain and tents were laid out on the lawn to dry.

Drama Club Walk, St Nics book sale, and Oddballs Rally


The Abingdon Drama Club annual walk into Oxford left Abingdon at 11 am. The walk is organised by Kevin Thompson, author of Willy and Wally the windscreen wipers. Kevin has been a stage manager for years. The walkers included directors, actors, lighting, and sound. They usually have a drink at Sandford Lock on the way.

One of the first things they saw on the way was the other swan family, the Mill Stream swans.

At St Nicolas Church, a book sale with coffee and cakes raised money for church funds. Books were good value at 50p each and 3 for £1.

On the Market Place, one scooter was parked. Others drove by, but not in huge numbers. At Abingdon  Rugby Ground, the Oddballs Scooter Rally is on all weekend. Many people are camped there and enjoying the festival.

Some famous tribute bands are performing in the large Marquette, including Abba.

Neighbourhood Plan – final consultation


The people of Abingdon are invited to comment on three more topics for the neighbourhood plan. They are:
* Travel, access and movement (A 20 MPH limit has already been requested by Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council. The plan has a map of proposed changes to encourage cycling on many of the town’s roads. )
* Business and employment (Allow more employment close to people’s homes by allowing small businesses to get planning permission near housing. This is in addition to the current business parks and shopping areas)
* Families and young people e (encouraging pupils to walk and cycle to school with play-on-the-way schemes and teenage hangouts)

People can still comment on the other three topics.

The plan will then be submitted to an independent examination to ensure it is complete.

The plan would then be put forward to an Abingdon-wide referendum next year. If adopted, the plan would influence planning decisions and help set an agenda for council actions and decisions over the next fifteen years.

To comment on any of the topics, visit https://www.abingdon-neighbourhood-plan.org/.

Abingdon Authors


Thankyou to the Bookstore for giving Abingdon books including Ten Poems about Abingdon a place in the window for the last two months. People sent in poems about Abingdon and the poet Andrew Jamison selected the final ten and wrote the foreword. The books sells at £5 and all profits go to The Abingdon Bridge charity, supporting young people.

Jenny Gould will be at Abingdon Library this Thursday talking about her book No More Good Girl. Jenny is a psychotherapist and married to Mike. They live and are well known in Abingdon.

Kevin Thomson is well known at Abingdon Drama Club and organises Abingdon Walking Tours led by himself and other actor friends. His children’s book is called Willy and Wally – The Windscreen Wipers.


The Abbey Meadow Outdoor Pool opened today.  The timetable hours can be see at https://www.better.org.uk/leisure-centre/vale-of-white-horse/abbey-meadows-outdoor-pool/timetable. Some sessions are for Swim for fitness and some Swim for all.

Adult is £5.35
Child is £3.30
1 Adult and 1 or 2 Under 3’s is £5.35

The day was cool and cloudy today but hopefully there will be lots of warm sunny days during the six weeks of opening.


More shops had made pink displays on the day, including Fabulous Flowers.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse greeted young children on Abingdon Market Place.

Mr Hemmings Traditional Morris Dancers were dancing.

Ashnah were dancing.

The Abingdon Music Centre Community Choir were singing.

Some ladies offered to give people sparkling tattoos to raise money for the Against Breast Cancer charity. There was a cake stall, tombola, and water or wine bottles wrapped.

That was all part of the Against Breast Cancer Splash of Pink day.

Also, a free bike inspection service was operating under the County Hall.

At the Abingdon-on-Thames Fire Station, an open day with children’s activities was happening.

Breast cancer awareness


Against Breast Cancer (a charity based in Abingdon) returns with their annual Splash of Pink on Market Place on Saturday, 23d July 2022, with an assortment of pink cakes, star wars stormtroopers and Abingdon belly dancers. The postbox is wearing a tea-cosy bra.

For the last fortnight, shops have been displaying pink balloons and ribbons. Their displays will be considered for the best-dressed shop window competition.

Throwing Buns have pink balloons and ribbons, bras and cakes.

The Finishing Touch has pink flowers, ponchos, umbrellas and balloons.

Chic It Up have pink flamingoes, flowers, and balloons.

National chains like Starbucks and Holland & Barrett have joined in.

The cutting bar focused on the pink ribbon. It may look like pink scissors but is the international symbol of breast cancer awareness.

Albert Park on the hottest day


My car’s external temperature sensor was showing 39.5°C at around 13:00. The Met Office had a temperature of 38.0°C at nearby Benson. My car could exaggerate. But other parts of the country had record temperatures of 40.5°C.

Conduit House has scaffolding, probably for repairs on the roof.

Walking around Albert Park, some of the trees had brown and falling leaves.

Most trees seemed to be healthy and provided shade. There were few people in the park, just a half dozen people resting under trees, and me and somebody else walking, but no dogs. The grass has turned the same colour as the path,

except for the bowling green.

Steam Plough – from 1873 to about a hundred years ago


The pioneer of the steam plough was John Fowler of Leeds, according to wikipedia, who used steam engines and a winch from 1850 to mechanisation agriculture. One steam engine would pull a plough across a field using a wound cable, and another steam engine pulled the plough back. In the early twentieth century, they were superseded by tractors, powered by internal combustion engines, which pulled the plough more like oxen.

The Steam Plough pub in Abingdon was opened around 1873 and closed soon after the end of WWI. I am not expecting many comments from people reminiscing about going to the Steam Plough on a Saturday night as the pub’s era fits within the age of steam ploughing.

The Victorian-era brick patterning is as fancy as Keeble College in Oxford, and the building, off Broad Street in Abingdon, is called Victoria Hose

Radley Lakes – July 2022


The Radley Lakes Trust organised a community event with cakes, nature activities, and music at Radley Lakes. I left my bike in good company and looked around.

The Abingdon Community Choir sang for visitors a song about the Lake, written specially by Helen Eccleston. It began:
Come and spend a while down by the Lake
a view to make you smile down by the Lake


The choir were followed by Trev Williams, by the Lake.

The Radley Lakes Trust carried out a survey at their information stall by the Lake. A cake stall also had Fab Ice Lollies by the Lake.

Nature activities, by the Lake, included plant identification with David Guyoncourt

and bird watching through a telescope with Ian Elkins

and Graham Bateman was on the lookout for mini beasts at the Lake.

The sun was out, and the blue sky was reflected in the Lake.