The crowd has filled up every space
and overflows the Market Place:
mums and dads, daughters, sons
chant ‘We want buns! We want buns!’
Above them on the County Hall –
in answer to the people’s call,
the Lady Mayor and civic graces
look down upon a sea of faces.
At noon the church bells start to ring;
the Mayor takes aim and with a fling
releases her first currant bun.
The throwing frenzy has begun.
The Queen’s been married fifty years,
and from below, arise the cheers.
It’s raining buns and buns and buns;
and buns are shredded into crumbs
as rival hands reach to catch,
and other hands try to snatch.
A wild bun hits me on the head
and flies to someone else instead.
At the front, they have a bag full.
At the rear, they just stay hopeful
until the empty trays are shown.
‘No more buns!’ Then they groan.
Some buns were missed and then got trodden
underfoot and left like fodder
’til crowds of birds joined the feast,
flying down from west and east.
A placard tried to raise the tone:
‘Man shall not live by bread alone’.
Some make friends with those they fought
and share out all the buns they caught.
NOTE: Bun Throwing is an Abingdon Tradition that began with the 1761 Coronation of King George III. It celebrates important royal and other civic events. Buns are thrown by local dignitaries from the roof of the County Hall to the populace who come in great crowds. Pictures are from 2011. I have no pictures from 1997. Entry for Poems about Abingdon. Sent in to the Tithe Farm and Ladygrove Newsletter in 1997, and revised here.
P.S Also to mention that the Abingdon Country Market have their first Market of the year at the Salvation Army in West St Helen Street this Saturday 13th Feb 2021.