BOMB disposal teams were brought into the city centre when the alarm was raised over a bulging envelope balanced on railings along Magdalen Street.

A square object could be seen inside the 'suspicious' package and grease had seeped through the paper in December 1988.

Police officers were suspicious and called Army bomb disposal experts to deal with it, whilst closing down nearby Debenhams to the public.

A robot was used to undertake a controlled explosion of the greasy package and revealed it contained half a dozen mince pies.

It happened at a time when department stores were on high alert after major stores in several cities had discovered 'firebombs' nearby.

Inspector John Simpson of Oxford Police station said 'It is better to be safe than sorry'.