Five thousand buns were lobbed off the roof of the Abingdon County Hall Museum as part of a tradition dating back hundreds of years, and just three people baked them all.

Abingdon bun throwing is one of Oxfordshire’s most bizarre traditions. The event, which dates back more than 400 years, is usually held to mark a royal occasion, with town councillors voting on whether to chuck thousands of current buns into a hungry crowd.

This year the Platinum Jubilee called for a special bun throwing event. Thousands of people gathered in Abingdon Market Place in an attempt to catch the 5,000 buns catapulted into the air.

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The thousands of buns were not delivered from a supermarket but baked by a team of three at Millets Farm.

In the days running up to the spectacular event the three bakers started work at 2am and continued to bake the current buns throughout the night ready for the big day.

Herald Series: Sue Kalnus with one of the buns she managed to catch. Picture: Liam RiceSue Kalnus with one of the buns she managed to catch. Picture: Liam Rice

Kate Coles, bakery manager at Millets Farm, said: “It went swimmingly, and we made 5,000 buns in the end. It is a lot more than we would usually bake; on a normal busy day we would normally make 500 items not 5,000.”

The bakers at Millets Farm were proud to be a part of such an historic event.

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Ms Coles said: “It is a lovely event. It is not something many people have heard of it is a quite bizarre event, but it is lovely to be a part of something that is so historic and important to the town. It is nice that council came to us, a local business, for help.”

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This is not the first time Millets Farm has made thousands of current buns specially for the quirky Abingdon tradition.

In 2011 for William and Kate’s wedding and in 2012 for the Diamond Jubilee the bakers also made thousands of buns.

This year to mark the Platinum Jubilee 500 of the edible buns were decorated with the number ‘70’ leaving 4,500 plain. This set the challenge of catching a special ‘70’ bun.

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Although the tradition of bun throwing is revered in the town and attended by thousands, some people raised concerns over food waste.

Ms Coles said: “As a business we are very dedicated to helping out. We donate to Abingdon food bank, and we donate what we can, when we can, and it is really important to us.

“All the buns that were thrown were all fully edible and people were more than welcome to keep them as a food item, they were not just for show.”

Read more from this author

This story was written by Rebecca Whittaker, she joined the team in 2019 as a multimedia reporter.

Rebecca covers education and news in Abingdon and Wantage.

Get in touch with her by emailing: or calling 07824524333

Follow her on Twitter @RebecWhitt

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