Bicester’s Jubilee Celebrations

Royal Jul 3, 2023

Originally published in the Oxford Times, 10th May 1935.

Bicester was not behind any town in its decorations and illuminations in honour of the Royal Silver Jubilee. The arrangements were left entirely to the householders themselves, and this proved very successful. The programme on Monday was a fairly quiet one throughout the day, but in the evening all was merry.
A united service was held on the Market Square at 10:45, when the Vicar (the Rev. W. O'Reilly) officiated, and the Rev. W.J.T. Small (Methodist) and the Rev. J.H. Eddleton (Congregational) took part. Members of the Urban Council were on the platform. The British Legion Band accompanied the singing of the hymns.
In an address the Rev. W.J.T. Small said they were gathered for a united service of prayer and thanksgiving for the protection afforded to King George during the 25 years of his reign. Bicester was but a little town, yet they were conscious that they were taking part in the homage, first to God and then to the King of a vast empire embracing many diverse peoples, united by the bond of common loyalty. How strong a bond that was might be illustrated by two personal memories. In 1910 he (the speaker) was living in Ceylon, and remembered the gloom cast upon the island by the news of the death of King Edward VII. The death of the King, who has been given the name of Edward the Peacemaker, filled the people into gloomy foreboding.
The second memory dated from 1929, when he was living in India. It was the time of the illness of King George, and the spontaneous outbursts of loyalty, in that land where loyalty had been severely strained since the War, was deeply impressive.
"To-day we rejoice that his Majesty has been spared to reign over us for six more years since that illness - a quarter of a century in all - years that have been used increasingly, through times of prosperity and times of adversity, for giving the lead to his people in true piety, noble generosity and unselfish service," said Mr. Small. "The words of the first verse of the National Anthem, in which we shall join a little later, truly express our prayer to-day and that of all his people."
After the service Mr G. Plater (chairman of the Urban Council) presented bars and medals to members of the Bicester Fire Brigade as follows: Ex Second Officer J.W. Knobb (45 years service), silver bar; Fireman T. Hill (25 years), silver medal and bar; Fireman J.H. Hollis (22 years), silver medal; Chief Officer H.T. Smith (13 years), bronze medal; Fireman T. Pilbeam (2 years), bronze medal.
In the afternoon there were sports on the sports ground, with the following results:
Girls under 8 - 1. Ella Cousins, 2. Eileen Pinnock
Girls under 9 - 1. Eileen Pinnock, Evelyn Bowden
Girls under 12 - 1. Vera Harris, 2. Pamela Middleton
Girls under 13 - 1. Eileen Morland, 2. Joyce Pankhurst
Skipping - 1. Mary Morgan, 2. Doris Palmer
Egg and spoon - 1. Evelyn Grace, 2. Rose Pinnock
Boys under 8 - 1. R. Bull, 2. R. Haynes
Boys under 9 - 1. M. Cousins, 2. Bert Holland
Boys under 12 - 1. F. Palmer, 2. E. Gibbs
Boys under 13 - 1. Bert Holland, 2. F. Palmer
Wheelbarrow - 1. Glyn and T. Jones, 2. P. Barrett and J. Britain
Three-legged Race - 1. Glyn and T. Jones, 2. F. Palmer and E. Gibbs
Thread-needle Race - 1. Mr and Mrs H. Collett, 2. Mrs Bailey and G. Harris
Sack Race - 1. Bull, 2. R. Ayris
Egg and Spoon - 1. Mrs Hardy, 2. Miss Joan Smith
Tea was provided in the Tun Room for the children between three and 15 years of age, and 540 were entertained. Souvenir mugs, medals and carnival novelties were distributed.
The carnival procession followed. On the Market Square were assembled the British Legion Band, the Bicester fire engine, the old fire engine of 1714, horsemen, men, women and children in fancy dress and decorated cars, etc. En route to the sports ground a collection was made for the Prince of Wales' fund. The classes were judged by Mr and Mrs Gilbey, Mrs Betts, Mrs Montgomery and Mrs M.W. Smith, with the following results:
Comic Prize - Mr George Harris and Mr Fred Smith (bathing costumes, 1910 and 1935)
Boys' Original - 1. Tony Bardon (Young England), 2. Arthur Hollis (Farmer Giles)
Boys' Comic Pairs - Donald Murray and Ronnie Palmer (Mickey Mouse)
Boys' Original Pairs - Maurice Smith and lan Petrie (fireman and policeman)
Girls' Comic - Alice Kent (Hard Up)
Girls' Original - 1. Beryl Barr (built-up area), 2. Jeannett Clifton (Jubilee), 3. Queenie Palmer (Silver Jubilee)
Girls' Comic Pairs - Dorothy Crawford and Evelyn Grace
Girls' Original Group - Gwen Barr, Doris Palmer, and Edith Sawyer (Three Old Maids of L...)
Mens' Original - Mr A. Butler (Red Indian)
Womens' Comic - Miss Maud Alley (scarecrow)
Womens' Original Pairs - Misses Muriel Southern and Kathleen Goble (heavenly twins)
Decorated Tram - 1. (equal) Miss Neal and Mrs Broome
Decorated Vehicle - 1. Mr J. Evans (Jubliee twins - Mr Osborne and Mr B. Evans and nurse Cyril Kinch), 2. Miss Bonner, Miss D.A. Mountain and Miss Kathleen Mountain (Mr Ramsbottom and Albert)
Historical (girls) - Joyce Murray (Nell Gwyn)
Historical Pairs - 1. (equal) Dinah Fairbrother and Joyce Smith (Charles I and Nell Gwyn) and Tommy and John Hudson (heralds)
Historical Vehicle - Bicester 1714 fire engine
Afterwards there was a confetti battle, torchlight procession and bonfire.
There were 44 casuals in the Bicester casual wards on Monday, and these had roast beef and Yorkshire pudding for dinner, cake for tea, and an orange, apple and half-ounce of tobacco were distributed to each.