Monday, 4 June 2012

Jubillee Bun Throwing

Bun throwing in Abingdon-on-Thames dates back to 1761, although original penny cakes were tossed as opposed to the modern-day hot-cross-buns.

The most recent of these events took place yesterday, as Britian celebrated the Queen's Diamond Jubillee.
It was tipping it down with rain when I arrived in the market place. This, however, didn't seem to have dampened the spirits of the people of Abingdon, who turned up in their masses equipped with brollies and coats.

At about ten to 6, the melodic tunes of a brass band playing The National Anthem were heard floating across the crowds. A small group of voices reluctantly joined in the refrain, peetering out to a well-rehearsed choir as the lesser known 2nd verse began.

Just before 6pm the mayor appeared, accompanied by town dignitaries and the winners of the first ever bun-throwing championships. The crowds cheered as they peered up through the sea of umbrellas, waiting for the main event to start.

Then, as the hour approached, to the masses delight the mayor threw the first bun. Umbrellas collapsed, as arms reached high into the sky to catch the treats. Other turned their rain-defenders upside down and used them to to try to collect more of the falling objects. The presence of the bun-throwing champions (and a catapult) seemed to help the buns to fly, as they not only got as far as the back of the crowd but also bounced off nearby buildings.

As always, it was a great tradition to observe and be a part of. I'm looking forward to to seeing the exhibitions of historic buns which is said to be one of the new exhibits in the soon to be newly-refurbished Abingdon Museum.


  1. I think I'd rather eat the bun than throw it. I'm a big believer of keeping up traditions, even the slightly odd ones.

    1. I did see one young lad eating the bun he had caught. They're usually quite hard though (and pretty gruby)- I don't think I'd like to eat them.