The next meetings will be at 8pm on Monday 8th July and 'provisionally' Tuesday 6th August at the Stonewater Common Room. All residents welcome (but please let us know ahead of the date if you're coming)!!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

2017 Jazz Festival

Once again beautiful Abingdon-on-Thames plays host to this wonderful festival of jazz and once again it will be organised by the Friends of Abingdon and Music At The Unicorn.

The Festival will take place in the ancient Long Gallery of the old Abingdon Abbey Buildings on the 12th and 13th May 2016.

Yes, jazz is alive, well and kicking up a storm in “jazztown” Abingdon-on-Thames.  The festival will include at least 6 main concerts in the centre of the town.

Performers will include:
  • The Vintage Funk and acclaimed Crowd Company - “Excellent. Dirty, lowdown Funk - We love Crowd Company on the show” Craig Charles, BBC Radio 6
  • Art Themin - the brilliant British saxophonist has been wowing the crowds for over 50 years
  • Oxfordshire County Youth Big Band and the Abingdon School Big Band
Bryan Brown the Chairman of Friends of Abingdon says:

“The Friends of Abingdon and Music At The Unicorn are delighted to present The Abingdon Jazz Festival once again.  As last year, the festival will be hosted and centred in the Friends’ beautiful Abbey Buildings. 

So, jazz enthusiasts and people who just like good music can enjoy great music, food, drink and Abingdon's stunning historic buildings all at the same time”.

Michael Ward Chairman of Music at the Unicorn says:

“Once again the Abingdon Jazz Festival will present fantastic local talent alongside great guests. Our special focus this year will be on young performers, with two large youth big bands showing off their amazing skills!”

Music At The Unicorn (MATU) is a not-for-profit community organisation who stage concerts to bring the best music to Abingdon.  An important part of the work is supporting up-and-coming musicians from the local area, giving them the opportunity to perform in front of wonderfully supportive and knowledgeable audiences.  A dedicated team of volunteers run all the events.

All profits go into improving the facilities and into bringing an even greater variety of talented bands, singers and instrumentalists to Abingdon.


Remade Guitars (Stratton way) or book online:

For more information and a running list:


Your support is greatly appreciated.

Friday, 17 March 2017

Further update on the Drayton Road bus stop

We are pleased to say that the Oxfordshire Highways Department have informed us that the repair work will be carried out in the next few weeks, soon after the start of the new financial year in April which will take 3-4 days.  The bus stop will be temporarily moved further up the road whilst this necessary work is carried out.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Plant Swap

For all Tithe Farm and Ladygrove gardeners!!  There will be another Plant Swap this year on Saturday 20th May on the driveway at 39 Masefield Crescent between 3.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m., come rain or shine.  Bring along your extra plants, surplus seedlings or spare cuttings and be ready to 'swap' - all for free!!  Please do check the Blog beforehand in case the date is change at the last minute.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Vale E-News

Are you interested in keeping up to date with the news from the Vale Council? The Vale produces an electronic newsletter every two months with news and updates – you can sign up to it at

Monday, 6 March 2017

A Walk on the Wildside

Hopefully spring will be now upon us, with scents of bluebells, catkins on willows and new leaves unfolding on the trees.  You may take a spring walk along the River Ock, but beware of the alien species that lies beneath.  Anglers will be well aware of this alien infestation, but for the ordinary people we will only notice them when looking over a bridge hoping to catch a glimpse offish.  What am I talking about?  A crustacean: the American Signal Crayfish.  It is bigger than our native white clawed crayfish, which it out-competes for food and habitat.  They carry a disease which kills our smaller native species and their burrows damage the sides of the river.  Apparently they were brought into the country by the Ministry of Agriculture Fisheries and Food (MAFF) to boost commercial fisheries and may have escaped or been released.

What can we do?  Not a lot is the answer.  The Environment Agency says: “Signal crayfish have been present around Oxford for over 25 years.  We don’t have clear evidence that local trapping of signal crayfish is beneficial to stocks of the native species.  We issue authorisations for trapping of signal crayfish in the Thames for commercial and domestic consumption, and in some cases, intensive trapping, to reduce the nuisance impact on anglers.”  You have to be licenced by the E.A. to catch them and putting them back is forbidden (failure to comply carries a hefty fine) but they do make for good eating!  Remember the Hairy Bikers came and visited Abingdon Lock in 2013 to sample the fayre, helped by a local man ‘Crayfish Bob’.  Maybe our local restaurants need to take note and increase crayfish on the menu; it is local, seasonal and fresh …. and eco-friendly way of saving the Abingdon Environment.

Signal crayfish is a ferocious cannibal that will eat anything that comes its way, fish eggs, ducklings, young moorhens and has all but finished off our indigenous species.  Members of the species are typically six-nine cm (2.4-3.5 in) long, although sizes up to 16-18 (6.3-7.1 in) are possible.  It gets its name from the white to pale blue-green patch near the claw hinge, like the white flags that signalmen used for directing trains.  They are bluish-brown to reddish-brown in colour with robust, large, smooth claws.  About 200-400 eggs are laid after mating in the autumn, and are carried under the female’s tail until they are ready to hatch the following spring.  The eggs hatch into juveniles, which pass through three moults before leaving their mother.