The Town Crier was outside the Guildhall to welcome teachers and Year 7 students from John Mason School. Every year Year 7 comes to the Guildhall to learn about some of Abingdon’s important buildings and some of their history.
The Mayor, Duncan Brown welcomed everybody, then the students split into 9 different groups, and were taken on a tour of 9 different locations in the Guildhall itself, the Abbey Buildings, St Helen’s Church and the almshouses.
The Mayor held court in the Guildhall’s Council Chamber, an oak panelled room rebuilt in 1733, where he entertained the students with a talk that began with the picture of Mad King George III who lost the American colonies … looked at many other seemingly uninteresting pictures in a fun way … discovered a statue outside riddled with civil war musket fire … and ended with a picture of the town council in 1878. The students had to say what might have changed between 1878 to 2010. For a start the council in 1878 were all male, looked elderly, sported a lot of facial hair, and did not smile.
I have a copy of the leaflet and questionnaire the pupils carried round during the morning. It says at the start “Have fun and be a credit to John Mason“.
It was. They were.