HIPPIES, Mr Men and even The Simpsons family tore through Bampton in a surreal evening of racing.

The West Oxfordshire village hosted its 67th annual Shirt Race on Saturday evening, as competitors dressed in magnificent costumes rode a range of spectacular chariots through the streets.

As always, the much-loved tradition attracted some weird and wonderful entries and it took organisers half an hour to judge the competition for the best fancy dress.

It was then down to business, as participants raced prams and guided chariots through the village, while drinking half a pint of liquid at each of the eight stations along the route.

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Race coordinator, Don Rouse, remembers the very first race in 1953, when the event was part of the celebrations to mark the Queen's coronation.

With an estimated 700 people lining the streets on Saturday, the 82-year-old explained the race was as popular as ever.

He said: "Serious racers keep their attire to the minimum and build their prams like racers.

"But the costumes has become the biggest part. Some people start designing their chariots at Christmas.

"The crowd was tremendous. The whole community works together in an incredible way."

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The excitement grew as hundreds of people gathered for the fancy dress parade at 6.45pm, with the prizes eventually awarded to the Wizard of Oz and Crash Bandicoot teams in the senior and junior categories respectively.

For the race itself, competitors are traditionally expected to dress in nightshirts, which gives the event its name.

They lined up in prams and chariots on the start line, before hurtling through the streets, via their eight pit stops.

These were divided up among four pubs and other sites along the course, with beer on offer for adults and soft drinks for children.

James Barber and Arnie Tomlins won the senior race and were rewarded with the prestigious honour of being Shirt Race champions 2019, plus eight cans of beer.

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Matthew Waite and Ben Wannell won the intermediate category, for participants aged 11 to 18, while Elias Easterbrook and Thomas Passey emerged victorious in the under-11 junior race.

Mr Rouse reserved special praise for the 30 volunteers, all Bampton residents, who ensured the smooth running of the race, which is run by the Bampton SPAJERS.

The name stands for the 'Society for the Preservation of Ancient Junketing, which 'loosely translates as creating fun in Bampton to raise money to provide fun for our senior citizens', the race coordinator explained.

The organisation puts on activities for the village's elderly residents, including days out and shopping trips at Christmas.

The amount raised from this year's shirt race has not yet been added up, but Mr Rouse confirmed that 'every single penny' would go to the village's senior citizens.