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The Mayor of Ock Street

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The Mayor of Ock Street

The Mayor of Ock Street is elected each year by the residents of Ock Street and the streets which depend on it. The election traditionally took place on the Day of the annual horse fair, and nowadays takes place on the Saturday nearest June 19th (that means that in 2014 it'll be June 21st). The election is organised by the Morris side and is used as an excuse for inviting other Morris sides to Abingdon and having a day-long festival of dance. First dance is outside the Black Swan at 10am. Residents of Ock street all have the right to vote, and the election count takes place in the Brewery Tap at 4pm. The successful candidate, as Mayor, is then chaired along Ock Street and spends the next year as squire of the Morris side. Dancing usually continues until 8pm with the last dances performed on the marketplace, and a supper follows.

The Mayor of Ock Street is in the tradition of “Mock Mayors”. In times gone by mock mayors were widespread. A mock Mayor’s job, analogous to the court jester’s job, was to keep the civic mayor up to scratch. He could be as rude as he liked, and made sure that the civic mayor fully understood the townspeople’s point of view.

On Saturday, June 21st 2014, Harry Knight, beat Roger Cox who had been Mayor since 2007. He polled 95 votes, beating Roger Cox who had 67 votes.

Guest Sides

Vale Islanders
A group of dancers and musicians who perform English country dances of the Seventeenth Century in the costume of the period. All their dances are taken from “The English Dancing Master” first published by John Playford in 1651.
Armaleggan
Armaleggan is a Border Morris side with added Grrr… Border Morris was traditionally danced in Herefordshire and Shropshire — the counties at the northern end of the Welsh borders.
Grand Union Morris
Grand Union Morris are a mens side based in Denham, Buckinghamshire, who dance Cotswold Traditions (bells, hankies and sticks).
Chanctonbury Ring Morris Men
An all-male side based in central Sussex, dancing in two styles: Cotswold and North West Clog

The side's thanks go to them all who helped out on the day.