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JUBILEE: All fired up for giant celebration
TABLES stretched into the distance as Jubilee celebrations in north Oxfordshire went off with a bang, writes Damian Fantato.
Banbury’s Market Place was filled with Union Flags as about 1,000 Banbury children sat down for a 1950s-themed party yesterday.
There was a carnival atmosphere as stilt walkers and other entertainers amused the children and an old-fashioned fun fair was laid on.
Four-year-old Sophie Berry said: “I am really excited about the Jubilee and I have had a nice time.”
And celebrations in Bicester blasted off with the town’s unique tradition of anvil firing in Garth Park on Saturday.
Bob Hessian, chairman of Bicester Local History Society organised the event. He said: “I was a bit nervous, especially seeing the big crowds, but I am pleased with how it went.”
MP Tony Baldry, the Rev Paul Howes of Bicester Methodist Church and deputy mayor Melanie Magee struck the gunpowder-charged anvils with a hammer. Ms Magee suffered minor scratches from the blast but said: “I would do it again, but with a hard hat and visor.”
Yesterday a parade of soldiers, Brownies and Scouts took place through the town centre from St Edburg’s Church to the Market Square.
Meanwhile the people of Launton were doing their bit to keep memories of June 2, 1953, alive as they held their own coronation on Saturday.
Nine-year-old Sadie Berry Firth was crowned at St Mary’s Church and took part in village events, including a magic show, an old-time music festival and the planting of a Jubilee hedge in Launton’s allotments.
She said: “I am having a great time. It is a lot of work though. It is a very hard job being the Queen.”
In Bodicote an arts and crafts fair was held in the village hall yesterday, along with a 1950s memorabilia show.
The exhibits in the fair had been put together by local artists as part of the village’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.
And in Bloxham, Colesbourne Road residents had a street party yesterday. They enjoyed a barbecue and followed it with a toast to the Queen.
About 100 residents turned out for the party despite the rain.
- About 150 passengers heading to London for the Jubilee Pageant were left on the platform at Banbury station yesterday, because so many people were going to the capital.
Chris Bates, of Cherwell Rail Users Group, said he was told the 9.45am Marylebone service at Banbury was full but Chiltern Railways laid on an extra train minutes later. Mr Bates added: “I was on the 8.57am service out of Banbury and it was standing room only from Bicester North.”