THOUSANDS of buns were launched at rain-soaked residents yesterday as part of a town's efforts to honour the centenary of the end of the First World War.

Heavy downpour failed to put off hundreds from taking part in the unique Abingdon tradition, which dates back to 1761 and the coronation of King George III.

It sees the town mark major royal and national occasions by hurling buns off the roof of its County Hall to crowds in the Market Place opposite.

Oxford Mail:

At 2pm, residents packed into the Market Place as town councillors, members of the armed forces and Abingdon MP Layla Moran, stood on the roof of the County Hall museum and flung 5,000 currant buns to the cheering crowds.

Amid chants of 'we want buns' Abingdon mayor Margaret Crick had the job of launching the first baked treat.

Oxford Mail:

She said: "I've been part of three bun throws now but this was my first as mayor and it really was something special.

"I was worried with the rain it would put people off but there were so many there it was wonderful to see."

She explained the council had decided to put on the Abingdon tradition as part of the centenary to celebrate those soldiers who made it home.

Ms Crick said: "So many were lost from Abingdon and we have planned lots of events to commemorate them  but the centenary is a chance to also celebrate that the war came to an end."

She added it was also a good opportunity to engage more young people with Remembrance.

Luigi Pangione, who lives close to the centre of Abingdon, attended with his wife Nicoletta, and their children Sara, nine, and Marco, 11, who came away clutching a bag of buns each.

He said: "We've been before and it is such a different town tradition that we enjoy being a part of."

Oxford Mail:

The family were joined by friend Nishani Nanayakkara and her children Shenara, eight, and Amia, six.

She said: "It was our first time, it's a great event, especially for the children and the rain didn't spoil the fun."

It is part of a weekend of Armistice events, which included a roll of honour reading and concert to raise funds for the Royal British Legion yesterday, as well as the traditional Remembrance Sunday gathering at the war memorial and civic procession through the centre of Abingdon today.