Despite the torrential rain, hundreds of people gathered in the centre of Abingdon to be showered with buns last night.

In a tradition dating back around 200 years, the town’s civic leaders took their positions at the top of the County Hall Museum and threw 6,000 buns to an expectant crowd below.

The buns had been marked with the number 60 in icing in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Seven-year-old George Long from Radley was one of the crowd below with his parents Dave and Fran.

He said: “It was really good. I couldn’t catch a bun, but then my dad got one for me.”

All the town’s councillors, as well as local MP Nicola Blackwood, marched up the 160-odd stairs to the top of County Hall and spent around half-an-hour throwing the buns.

Town mayor Monica Lovatt said: “This has been a long time in the planning. The town council’s staff have worked over and above the call of duty to organise it.”

This year’s bun throwing even attracted Top Gear presenter James May, who was challenged to launch buns to the back of the square for his programme Man Lab, something which had long eluded even the fittest councillors.

He used a makeshift cannon to achieve the goal.

Mr May said: “It went better than we expected. I reckon we fired about 700 buns. Some of them hit the walls on the other side of the square.

“This is possibly the weirdest request I have ever had but it was fantastic to be a part of it.

“We have brought Abingdon into the 21st century.”

The programme will be aired in the autumn.

As well as a fun in the park event in Abbey Meadows on Saturday a street party was held in Ock Street, yesterday.

Meanwhile residents in Wantage gathered on for a fun day on Saturday at the Manor Road Memorial Park, including a 1950s-style fun fair.