Thursday, 8 May 2014

BEDM Day 8

Local History Month - who'd have thought it?  So a few facts about sunny Abingdon.

Abingdon has a strange custom known as bun throwing.  Whenever there's a Royal event - jubilee, wedding etc - then the local councillors throw buns to the crowd from the top of the Town Hall.  This tradition has been going on for many years.  There is a collection of buns in the museum which date back to Queen Victoria.  No one knows quite how it started but it's very popular - hundreds of local folk turn out when a throwing is happening.

We also have a weird ceremony where a local is voted Mayor of Ock Street.  The honorary mayor is a resident of Ock Street, gets to parade down the street.  This is linked to the local Morris Dancing troop who are very active and often to be seen dancing outside various pubs on bank holidays.

We also have a fair every October which closes the High Street and Ock Street.  This used to be a hiring fair but is now just an excuse for 2 days of rides and burgers.  The local teenagers love it!  One week later the Runaway Fair arrives; this was the chance for anyone who didn't like the job they'd found at the hiring fair to 'runaway' and find a new job.

Abingdon also has a thriving local market every Monday.  This has been going on for over 450 years and is well attended by locals.  You can buy a wide variety of things at the market from fruit & veg to fresh local bread to bin bags to foam padding!

Abingdon has many other interesting features.  It lays claim to being the oldest town in England, has a church that is the second widest in England, it's the home of Abingdon School (one of the oldest public schools in the country & where Radiohead met!)  Come and visit if you're ever in South Oxfordshire!

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