NEWSLETTER 1, 2020
Welcome to the first AMRA Newsletter of 2020! This edition has gone to all residences in the Abingdon Marina catchment area. We want to tell you about what AMRA does, how it was formed and who its committee members are. We need your support and hope that this will encourage all Marina residents to join AMRA.
AMRA’s past and present activities – a message from the Chair, Maryanne Steele
Forty years ago this area was a rural and undeveloped area on the bank of the Thames. When the development started it wasn't always clear how it would evolve and it soon became apparent to the first homeowners living on North Quay, that their voice needed to be heard by the developer and by the Council. To this end they formed a Residents' Association (AMRA), a limited company, to add weight to their views. Two of their biggest achievements were the removal of a proposed “island” in the centre of the marina which would have had houses on it, and also to ensure that there was no direct link to Wilsham Road, thus eliminating any through traffic. The “island” was only removed after a successful court action. Now that the development is complete there is less need for active representation, but AMRA continues to act on residents' behalf when necessary. For example, we are currently raising the issue of the dangerous parking on Lambrick Way where it meets Preston Road.
Sunrise over the marina (Photo: Nick Newham)
Over the years AMRA's social activities have become more important and this really helps to build a good community spirit. Our social events, especially the annual Summer and Christmas Parties, provide an opportunity for residents who have lived here longer to build on existing friendships and for newer residents to get to know their neighbours. This is only possible thanks to the work of a team of dedicated volunteers. We have also initiated an AMRA WhatsApp group for members to share helpful information. For instance, I have recently posted news and a link about the Oxford Literary Fortnight at the end of March this year, to enable neighbours who may want to arrange a group outing to do so.
I am one of the newer residents – I have only lived here 9 years – but from very early on it was nice to attend AMRA events and to get to know people around the Marina and the surrounding neighbourhood. Please contact me or one of our other committee members if you would like more information on AMRA or if you would like to attend one of our events. I hope you will consider joining us.
Maryanne Steele – AMRA Chair
Recent river levels
Fishermans Wharf Residents Association hosted the annual Carols on the Wharf on Christmas Eve, with members of the Salvation Army providing music. 50 to 60 people attended and a record £510 was collected for the Salvation Army.
Thanks to AMRA for the usual contribution of £50 towards the cost of the mulled wine. Residents of Fishermans Wharf supplied mince pies. Thanks to Barry Gustafson for organising this event and to Peter Penfold for serving the mulled wine.
With Storm Ciara followed closely by Storm Dennis, we have been having a spell of high water levels in the river. But we have been very lucky not to be as badly affected as those in the Severn and Wye valleys. This chart shows that the river has been nearly half a metre above it normal upper level earlier this week, but it is now stabilising.
AMRA WhatsApp group
To join the WhatsApp group which Maryanne mentions above, please send her your mobile phone number and she can add you to the group. Maryanne’s number is 07946 400257.
AMRA Photograph Competition
George Steele sends a reminder to everyone that our annual photographic competition runs throughout the year. Any photographs featuring the environment will be most welcome, taken anywhere locally.
The photographs will be displayed for judging by members at our Xmas Party. Please send your photographs on line to George Steele at firstname.lastname@example.org
Social Calendar for 2020
Our Social Secretary, Delia Evans, and her team have put their heads together and come up with a full programme of events for this year. These are the events planned so far.
Our first event will be held on Saturday March 28th from 6-8 at 28 North Quay where we will be holding a Cocktail Mixing Party. You will make your own cocktails and then enjoy drinking them! The cost is £4 per head and all ingredients will be provided for two exciting gin cocktails plus nibbles – a bargain to kick off our summer events! Obviously, numbers are limited for this event, so book your place soon and definitely by March 21st please. If this proves popular, we intend to repeat the idea. Many thanks to Laura and Simon Johnston for hosting this event for us.
The next event is the Annual Boatnic on Saturday 13th June. This is where we take boats down to Day's Lock and enjoy a picnic lunch in great surroundings on the lock island. More details in the next newsletter but please put the 13th June in your diary. This event is open to all, including those who don’t have their own boat – we can arrange sharing.
In early July we will hold our Annual Summer Party on Saturday July 4th. This is free to all members and is intended as a family event and goes on from lunchtime through the afternoon. It will be held at the Rugby Club in Lambrick Road, where a delicious lunch is provided for all ages, as are the garden games kindly loaned by George and Maryanne Steele. Children come free of course and if anyone wishes to bring relations or friends, the cost is a mere £5. So please put July 4th into your diaries now.
Finally, we will hold the Christmas Party, also free to all members, at the Rugby Club on December 11th. Here, after a short A.G.M. we enjoy an excellent buffet supper with games, competitions, fun and Christmas festivities!
Possible additional events
Last October, we organised a trip to the Bodleian Library in Oxford which had to be cancelled in the end. However, several people have subsequently said that they would like to go there, so, if you are interested then let Delia know and we will try again. The cost will be £13 a head but we must have at least 13 people to make it viable.
It has also been suggested that we could start a Book Club event to be held one morning each month at Cosener's House in town. This would be a very informal get together when we would meet up for a coffee and to chat about a particular book that we would (maybe!) have read during the previous week. If this idea is of interest, again, please do let Delia know.
Delia and her team have many more ideas for possible events throughout the year such as a visit to the Oxford Toad gin distillery, the races at Newbury, the Watermill Playhouse at Sonning, live screenings of west end theatre productions at the Abbey Cinema, visiting speakers on various topics, a trip on a river steamer, possibly with dinner included, a yoga group and another afternoon Boatnic at Abingdon lock. So please look out for notices of these events during the year and if you have any other ideas please let us know and if any of these Delia and her team trying out a cocktail recipe for 28th March
ideas appeal. Please e-mail (Photo: Mike Evans)
Delia at email@example.com to let her know of any events which would be of interest you. Here's to a good fun summer for all from Delia and her team.
Please ensure that you renew your memberships by April 1st – see the membership renewal form at the end of this Newsletter. Delia thanks you for heeding her pleas for you to let her know if you intend to come to any of these events so that we can cater for the right numbers without overspending and wasting food and money.
Sunrise over the marina
(Photo: Nick Newman)
AMRA annual membership is £12.00 per person. Please see below for ways to pay. Memberships should be paid by 1st April 2020.
Please pay by BACS to AMRA’s account number 13656950, sort code 20-01-09. Please use the payment reference to show your address and name. Please let Martin Cutler, the Membership Secretary, know you have used BACS, so that he can keep track. Either use the payment slip below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Or please pay by cheque or cash direct to the Membership Secretary. Please complete the payment slip below and return it with you subscription. Simply post it or push it through the letterbox at 8 Marina Way.
AMRA Subscriptions 2020-21
I/we* enclose cash/cheque* for £ …………………, payable to AMRA.
Name(s) …………………………………………………… Telephone:………………………………………