Leaving Cleeve Lock near Goring we pushed upstream against the Thames’ current until we reached the historic market town of Abingdon. Abingdon claims to be the oldest continuously occupied town in Britain, an assertion that is difficult to dispute. Today the town is popular with tourists and boaters. And like our prior stop at Cleeve Lock, Abingdon has a place in modern music history. The band Radiohead formed when studying at Abingdon School.
The town is known for a quirky long-standing tradition. In celebration of events such as royal marriages, coronations and jubilees, local dignitaries throw buns from the roof of the Abingdon’s Grade I listed 17th-century County Hall to crowds assembled in the square below. As there was nothing to celebrate during our visit, no buns were sent to their doom while we were in town.
Abingdon is also famous as the location of the MG car factory. After decades of production, the factory closed its doors in 1980. Is it too late to blame the townspeople if your MGB doesn’t start in the morning?