June Funfair and Morris Dancers on Ock Street

Along Ock Street are posters for a funfair at Ladygrove Meadow, beside the River Ock. NHS Staff with IDs can ride for free.

Abingdon once boasted seven fairs. The Michaelmas Fair is still very large and successful. There was also a Ock Street Fair in June. And the Funfair says ‘glad to be back’. I am not sure it is the same one.

A sign at the fairground entrance lists the Covid-19 rules and regulations.

The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers were dancing outside the Brewery Tap, off Ock Street, at around 3 pm.

Mr Harry Knight was made the mock mayor of Ock Street for next year without the usual election – because of Covid-19 rules and regulations.

Also present was Roger Cox, a previous mock mayor of several years. He now prefers to carry the real mantle of power – a pig’s bladder. He is officially called the fool. In Shakespeare, fools are clever commoners that use their wits to outdo Lords and Kings. In Abingdon, fools are clever commoners who use their wit and pigs bladder to drive Morris Dancers.

The horns are taken from a black ox, roasted on the Bury in Abingdon in the year 1700. An argument broke out between the men of Ock Street and the men of The Vineyard over the ownership of the horns. The horns were wrestled over the Ock Street finishing line after a determined battle between the men of both streets. The Ock Street men got to keep the horns and are still showing them off over three hundred years later.

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