Public to have say on renaming town

Oxford Mail: The Old Anchor Inn in Abingdon The Old Anchor Inn in Abingdon

A MOVE to change Abingdon’s name back to Abingdon-on-Thames has moved a significant step closer but the public will get their say.

The Tory town council has approved the plan despite it being labelled “pretentious” by a former mayor.

The council rejected a proposal to consult the public, but yesterday Vale of White Horse District Council – which needs to give it final approval – said it would put the scheme out for people to debate.

Already yesterday an Abingdon sign at Abingdon Bridge had -on-Thames added to it in marker pen by an unknown tagger.

Town Mayor Mike Badcock, who proposed restoring the -on-Thames moniker dropped in 1974, said: “I believe Abingdon deserves this name.

“It the jewel in the Crown on the River Thames.”

But speaking against the plans on Wednesday Liberal Democrat member Pat Lonergan, who was mayor in 2008 and 2009, said the town ran the risk of looking silly.

He said: “We don’t need to qualify the name of Abingdon. To me it’s pretentious.”

A decision to change the name of the Abingdon parish could be made by the district council as early as February. Council chief executive David Buckle said the public would be consulted first.

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Abingdon Town Football Club chairman Tom Larman said the club would change its name too if the plans went through, adding: “We would be proud. It is prestigious.”

Comments (17)

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12:59pm Fri 25 Nov 11

Abingdon Neil says...

Your report says that the town may change its name 'back to' Abingdon-on-Thames.

When was it previously called this?
Your report says that the town may change its name 'back to' Abingdon-on-Thames. When was it previously called this? Abingdon Neil

12:59pm Fri 25 Nov 11

steve king says...

For Gods sake just get on and do it ! I doubt the public were consulted when they removed it, so why all the fuss now?
For Gods sake just get on and do it ! I doubt the public were consulted when they removed it, so why all the fuss now? steve king

1:04pm Fri 25 Nov 11

steve king says...

Ah, shame you're not an Abingdonian Neil, then you would have remembered the MG's and Morland etc, they were but a few businesses proud to say were in Abingdon on Thames, in fact the Chamber of Commerce never droped its "on Thames" suffix.
Ah, shame you're not an Abingdonian Neil, then you would have remembered the MG's and Morland etc, they were but a few businesses proud to say were in Abingdon on Thames, in fact the Chamber of Commerce never droped its "on Thames" suffix. steve king

1:14pm Fri 25 Nov 11

Abingdon Neil says...

Steve - I know that many businesses and organisations have added the 'on-Thames' over the years, and I have no problem with that, but to the best of my knowledge the town itself has always been called 'Abingdon', in line with our 455 year old Royal Charter.

Personally I support the Town Council, businesses and other organisations promoting themselves and the town as 'Abingdon-on-Thames' as it promotoes our biggest asset.

I wouldn't go through the time and hassle of changing the Town's official name though.
Steve - I know that many businesses and organisations have added the 'on-Thames' over the years, and I have no problem with that, but to the best of my knowledge the town itself has always been called 'Abingdon', in line with our 455 year old Royal Charter. Personally I support the Town Council, businesses and other organisations promoting themselves and the town as 'Abingdon-on-Thames' as it promotoes our biggest asset. I wouldn't go through the time and hassle of changing the Town's official name though. Abingdon Neil

2:15pm Fri 25 Nov 11

Oxford taxpayer says...

I read yesterday that Staines in Middlesex are also considering adding 'on Thames'. Perhaps the two towns could be twinned?
I read yesterday that Staines in Middlesex are also considering adding 'on Thames'. Perhaps the two towns could be twinned? Oxford taxpayer

2:57pm Fri 25 Nov 11

EMBOX1 says...

Sadly this will be abbreviated to AOT, which is probably what most people wish Mike Badcock would do. Daily.
Sadly this will be abbreviated to AOT, which is probably what most people wish Mike Badcock would do. Daily. EMBOX1

3:31pm Fri 25 Nov 11

godzilla says...

How about Abingdon dead loss
How about Abingdon dead loss godzilla

4:27pm Fri 25 Nov 11

davidofabingdon says...

EMBOX1: I may have led a sheltered life. What does "AOT" stand for? Apart from Abingdon On Thames.
EMBOX1: I may have led a sheltered life. What does "AOT" stand for? Apart from Abingdon On Thames. davidofabingdon

7:33pm Sat 26 Nov 11

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

Arse over tip, I think was meant. 'Pretentious' means pretending to be something you are not - posh or clever for example. Abingdon is certainly on the River Thames, so I can't see how it's pretentious to add the 'on Thames'. Localism is the new fashion in food, planning policy and maybe in place-names, so get on with it!
Arse over tip, I think was meant. 'Pretentious' means pretending to be something you are not - posh or clever for example. Abingdon is certainly on the River Thames, so I can't see how it's pretentious to add the 'on Thames'. Localism is the new fashion in food, planning policy and maybe in place-names, so get on with it! Milkbutnosugarplease

9:23am Sun 27 Nov 11

Spike62 says...

I always feel proud when ever I look under a bonnet of an old MG car when abroad and see the name plate stamped "Made in Abingdon-on-Thames" let's just get on with it and get it back.
I always feel proud when ever I look under a bonnet of an old MG car when abroad and see the name plate stamped "Made in Abingdon-on-Thames" let's just get on with it and get it back. Spike62

11:34am Sun 27 Nov 11

abingdonian says...

A quick check through my stash of history of Abingdon books suggestes that Neil is right - as Harry Knights says in the introduction to his "Abingdon on Thames Today" (1982) that "is not the official name of the town but the river has played such an important part in its life that it should carry this title". None of the other history books refer to it as anything other than Abingdon.

But I completely agree with those who say "just get on with it": if a so-called "official" name-change is going to require a lot of bureaucracy, let those who want to use the new title do it unofficially as was clearly what happened in the past. It certainly shouldn't be a party political issue!
A quick check through my stash of history of Abingdon books suggestes that Neil is right - as Harry Knights says in the introduction to his "Abingdon on Thames Today" (1982) that "is not the official name of the town but the river has played such an important part in its life that it should carry this title". None of the other history books refer to it as anything other than Abingdon. But I completely agree with those who say "just get on with it": if a so-called "official" name-change is going to require a lot of bureaucracy, let those who want to use the new title do it unofficially as was clearly what happened in the past. It certainly shouldn't be a party political issue! abingdonian

12:24pm Sun 27 Nov 11

the great she-bear says...

i don't see anything pretentious about the suffix. it would have been applied to abingdon if and when there was another town or village in england with the same name. google maps doesn't show any but that doesn't mean there wasn't one, once, that fell by the wayside .

i'd say put it up for a vote to the residents. as my mother used to say, "call me anything, just not late for dinner." honest. she did...
i don't see anything pretentious about the suffix. it would have been applied to abingdon if and when there was another town or village in england with the same name. google maps doesn't show any [ok i'm lazy in my research] but that doesn't mean there wasn't one, once, that fell by the wayside [plague, enclosures, swallowed up by a city]. i'd say put it up for a vote to the residents. as my mother used to say, "call me anything, just not late for dinner." honest. she did... the great she-bear

8:06pm Sun 27 Nov 11

steve king says...

Abingdonian, I too have a stash of Abingdon memorabilia, one of which is a "town guide" published by Burgess on behalf of the "borough corporation" It's called the Abingdon "on Thames guide" ?
Abingdonian, I too have a stash of Abingdon memorabilia, one of which is a "town guide" published by Burgess on behalf of the "borough corporation" It's called the Abingdon "on Thames guide" ? steve king

3:06pm Mon 28 Nov 11

colbart says...

Apparently it was the Berkshire, Borough of Abingdon-on-Thames..
..
Apparently it was the Berkshire, Borough of Abingdon-on-Thames.. .. colbart

10:36pm Tue 29 Nov 11

burro says...

This is nothing to do with this, but I thought it was funny my friend told somebody one day he lived in Slough to which the other person replied "oh you mean north Windsor"!!!!!
This is nothing to do with this, but I thought it was funny my friend told somebody one day he lived in Slough to which the other person replied "oh you mean north Windsor"!!!!! burro

12:00am Wed 30 Nov 11

Merlin22 says...

Just do it - this town needs every leg up it can get and a huge one is being on the Thames! Shout it from the roof tops I say.
Just do it - this town needs every leg up it can get and a huge one is being on the Thames! Shout it from the roof tops I say. Merlin22

12:02am Wed 30 Nov 11

Merlin22 says...

Just do it - this town needs every leg up it can get & being on the Thames is a huge one. Shout it from the rooftops I say.
Just do it - this town needs every leg up it can get & being on the Thames is a huge one. Shout it from the rooftops I say. Merlin22

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