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Home > Oxfordshire > Abingdon > Air Balloon

Air Balloon

Date of photo: 2014

Picture source: Movement80


The Air Balloon was situated on Ock Street. This grade-II listed pub is now used as a private house.

Review from
 * Webster's Green Label 1.86
* Greene King Abbot Ale 1.69
* Strongbow 1.80 (8.x.1997)

This was called, until very recently, the Air Balloon, which was an excellent name. Now it has reverted to the original name, but looking through the window, it looks much the same as it did back then. (26.ii.2000)

It isn't as bad as you would expect from the name, however, but it does reek of having been a recent invention. Take the roadsign in the corner of the room, which is the sort of thing that you'd expect to see in a college bar, or the stuffed ducks above the bar, or the red lighting (a bit like the deserted Three Horseshoes in Old Marston), and the unconvincing inglenook. Or indeed the hallucinogenic carpet.
On the plus side, it does a reasonable range of drinks, and best of all, fairly pleasant and quite decently-priced food - though if you're a vegetarian you'll pay in the same price range (about four to seven pounds) and get a pile of salad instead of a helping of chips.
If they changed back the name, sorted out the lighting, and either removed the jukebox or fixed it so that more than the bassline was audible, this would be a pretty good pub. Oh, and it has satellite television as well.
* Webster's Green Label 1.86
* Greene King Abbot Ale 1.69
* Strongbow 1.80
Listed building details:
Public house. Early C19; extended circa 1830s. Red brick in Flemish bond with vitrefied headers. Welsh slate roofs, east range hipped with brick dentil eaves course, west range gable-ended. Brick axial stacks. PLAN: 2-room plan early C19 range on left; extended circa 1830s by addition of taller block on right [east]. EXTERIOR: 2-storey 2-window range on left, ground floor central doorway with small canopy on shaped brackets flanked by tripartite sashes with glazing bars; two smaller windows on first floor with cambered brick arches. Taller 2-storey and attic, 1-window range on right with band at first floor level, large 16-pane sashes and small gabled dormer with 6-pane sash. Right-hand [E] return has bowed window on ground floor, first floor band, 16-pane first floor sash and small gabled attic dormer with 6-pane sash. All windows boarded over, except dormer for windows. INTERIOR not inspected.

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Name Dates Comments
George Foster 1964 Customer living in Spring Street.
Simon Selby c1985 Was a barman here for a while. It was an Ushers Brewery (Trowbridge) flagship pub back then, run by a guy called Richard Webb.