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Abingdon Morris

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 2015 it will be June 20th). 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.

2016 Election of the Mayor of Ock Street

This year's election will take place on Saturday 18th June.

The ballot box will be outside the Brewery Tap between 10am and 4pm. Residents and businesses on Ock Street (and mews that used to be part of Ock Street) are eligible to vote. Voting cards will be delivered on the evening beforehand (Friday 17th June)

2016 Candidates

  • Harry Knight
  • Duncan Brown - The reigning mayor

Visiting Sides

  • To be confirmed...


All times are approximate and subject to change

  • 10:00 Polling Station at Brewery Tap opens
  • 10:00 Morris sides process from Brewery Tap into the Town Center.
  • 10:15 Dancing at Black Swan
  • 10:45 Dancing in Bury Street Precinct
  • 11:30 Dancing in Old Station Yard
  • 12:15 - 13:15 Dancing in Market Place
  • 14:30 Long Alley Almshouses
  • 15:00 Tomkins Almshouses
  • 15:30 Brewery Tap
  • 4pm Ballot Box Closes
  • 4:15 Results of the ballot followed by chairing of the new mayor and dancing outside the Brewery Tap
  • 5:15 Procession along Ock Street
  • 5:30 White Horse
  • 6:30 Chairing and dancing in Ock Street
  • 7:15 - 7:45 Final dance in the Market Place

Previous Years...

2015 Election of the Mayor of Ock Street

The 2015 election took take place on Saturday 20th June.

2015 Candidates

  • Harry Knight - 55 Votes
  • Roger Cox - 49 Votes
  • Duncan Brown - 64 Votes

Duncan Brown was elected as the Mayoir of Ock Street

Visiting Sides

2014 Mayor's Day was held on June 21st

Harry Knight in the mayor's chair, smiling and holding the ceremonial sword and chalice
Harry Knight was elected as the Mayor of Ock Street
Votes cast were:
Harry Knight:95 
Roger Cox:67 
TOTAL:164 (11.7% of 1400 cards printed)
Photo by Martin Wackenier

The Candidates

There were two candidates this year:

Photo of Roger Cox dressed as the Mayor of Ock Street holding ceremonial sword and chalice
Roger Cox
The reigning mayor since 2007
Photo of Harry Knight in Abingdon Morris Kit playing melodeon
Harry Knight
Abingdon dancer and musician since the 1970's

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 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



On Saturday, June 22nd 2013, Mr Roger Cox, who had been Mayor since 2007 was convincingly re-elected for 2013/2014. He polled 106 votes, beating Harry Knight by 23 votes. Harry Knight and Duncan Brown polled 83 votes and 72 votes respectively.

The visiting side was:

Berkshire Bedlam Morris Men

Roger Cox victorious once again!