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Election of the Mayor of Ock Street Options
Daemon
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2018 12:00:00 AM
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Election of the Mayor of Ock Street

During the 18th century, it was customary for the people of Abingdon to roast a black ox on St. Edmund of Abingdon's Feast Day (June 19). In 1700 an argument arose during the ox roast over who would get the horns, and a man named Hemmings took possession of the horns. The crowd hailed him as the "Mayor of Ock Street." Today, only people who live on Ock Street may vote for the mayor. The winner toasts his election by drinking from a special applewood chalice, and he is carried through the streets in a flower-decorated chair by the Abingdon Morris dancers. More...
KSPavan
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2018 4:29:13 AM

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Today's Holiday
Election of the Mayor of Ock Street
During the 18th century, it was customary for the people of Abingdon to roast a black ox on St. Edmund of Abingdon's Feast Day (June 19). In 1700 an argument arose during the ox roast over who would get the horns, and a man named Hemmings took possession of the horns. The crowd hailed him as the "Mayor of Ock Street." Today, only people who live on Ock Street may vote for the mayor. The winner toasts his election by drinking from a special applewood chalice, and he is carried through the streets in a flower-decorated chair by the Abingdon Morris dancers.
monamagda
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2018 5:31:40 PM

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English customs: electing the Mayor of Ock Street


William Kemp the Shakespearean actor dancing the Morris


Throughout the British Isles, battles are commemorated in customs that reflect the impact of warfare on the community.

In Abingdon, Berkshire, a custom survives to immortalise a memorable tussle.

During the 18th century a black ox would be roasted on or near the feast of St Edmund, and given to the poor people of the town at the fair which followed.

One year – accounts differ as to which – there was a fight between two factions, the up-town men and the down-town men, about possession of the head, horns and tail of the ox. An imaginary line was drawn through the town with Ock Street, named after the River Ock, dividing the two parties. A long fight ensued as the two groups of men tussled over the remains. Eventually a man named Hemmings, one of Abingdon’s morris dancers, captured the horns and was proclaimed “Mayor of Ock Street”.

The election still takes place annually, but not the fight. The winner – usually a member of the Hemmings family – is carried through the street by the morris dancers, led by the hornbearer, who bears the ancient horns of the black ox.

Drinking and morris dancing continue throughout the evening, as the Morris men visit all of the inns in Ock Street, accompanied by a traditional Fool who is armed with a bladder tied to an ox’s tail.

This edited article about English customs originally appeared in Look and Learn issue number 960 published on 2 August 1980.

https://www.lookandlearn.com/blog/9479/english-customs-electing-the-mayor-of-ock-street/

olddogg eleventy2
Posted: Saturday, June 16, 2018 9:34:39 PM

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Sounds like a good excuse for getting a toot on...lol
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