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.
2015 Election of the Mayor of Ock Street
This year's election will take place on Saturday 20th
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 19th June)
- Harry Knight - The reigning mayor
- Roger Cox - Former mayor between 2007-2013, now the
- Duncan Brown - Former Abingdon's youngest town council
mayor in 2010
- 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
2014 Mayor's Day was held on June 21st
Harry Knight was elected as the Mayor
of Ock Street
Votes cast were:
of 1400 cards printed)
There were two candidates this year:
The reigning mayor since 2007
Abingdon dancer and musician
since the 1970's
- 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 are a mens side based in Denham,
Buckinghamshire, who dance Cotswold Traditions (bells, hankies
Chanctonbury Ring Morris
- 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:
Roger Cox victorious once again!