All Hail the Bard of Buckingham!

Buckingham has crowned its first Bard!

The first Buckingham Bardic Trial was held in the Cote, at the rear of the Woolpack pub, on Tuesday 1st October.  The Town Crier welcomed a packed audience, and the event was then opened by the host, the Mayor Councillor Mark Cole JP.

Six competitors took part.  Each gave two performances, one related to the theme “Buckingham” and one of their choice.  There was a wide variety of styles and presentation, all of which drew applause!

Entrants had to be are over 18 and live within a day’s walk of the Old Gaol.

After the second round, the audience voted using ballot papers, which resulted in a tie.  This led to Buckingham’s first “Bard off”, where the two first placed Bards, Dean Jones and Cherry Coombe, each presented a third piece, followed by a second round of voting, with just two choices.  The winner was Dean Jones.  Dean is the University of Buckingham’s Partnerships and Outreach Manager.  Dean’s performances demonstrated a passion for Buckingham, causing laughter and applause on each occasion.

The runner up, Cherry Coombe, was hailed as the new Deputy Bard.

Following the announcement of his victory, Dean opened the sealed Bardic Scroll and signed the Bardic Oath, first coined in Stony Stratford:

“Words gather and now my bardic watch begins.  It shall not end for a year and a Bard of Buckingham Dean Jones with Deputy Bard Cherry Coombe and Mayor Cllr. Mark Coleday.  I shall herald the town, raise for bardic causes, and keep it family friendly…

I shall wear no crown, and win no glory.  I shall live and not languish at my post. 

I am the word in the silence.  I am the mouth of the masses.  I am the voice that celebrates the Buckingham.  I pledge my words and honour to this Bardic Year, for this night and all the nights come.”

Dean left the stage to chants of “All hail the Bard”.

The next step will be to form Buckingham’s Bardic Council.  The Council will support the new Bard through the year, perhaps even offering inspiration if their muse proves elusive.  The Council will consist of local poets, storytellers and supporters.  The Council will meet for the first time on Tuesday 8th October at the Buckingham Old Gaol from 19:00.  Anyone who would like to support the Bard or help develop the role would be very welcome.

Dean will now reign for a year and a day.  During the year, he will be invited to present original pieces at a range of events in the town, including the Christmas Light Switch on and Fringe Festival.

Dean said:

I’m both surprised and delighted to take on the role of First ‘Bard of Buckingham’. I would like to use this as an opportunity to bring the community together and give people in the town a voice. This should be an opportunity to celebrate everything that makes Buckingham special and have a bit of fun along the way. I’m looking forward to embracing the role in a collaborative way with the Deputy Bard Cherry Coombe as well as anyone in the town who has an interest in poetry, public speaking and spoken word who wants to get involved or take part along the way.’

Dean’s winning Buckingham themed poem: “Buckingham 10K”

‘This is my attempt at a Buckingham 10k (marathon of a) poem

Buckingham 10k

Once upon a time there was a child who liked to run
They’d run for hours and hours and hours and do it just for fun

They’d run to school each morning, they’d run through break and brunch
They’d run home to their parents’ house, they’d run to get their lunch

They’d run when they were happy, they’d run when they were sad
they’d even run on Christmas Day, it drove their parents mad

Their running got much better, they started winning races
Everybody cheered them on, they put smiles on people’s faces

They’d run the weekly 5k race called Buckingham parkrun’,
They’d run with lots of other folk, they’d do it just for fun

They even had a finish line and they’d take it everywhere
They’d run the annual ‘10k Race’ from here to somewhere over there

They’d run up old dark alley, past the Latin and secondary school
They’d run past cheering school mates who thought running fast was cool

They’d pass Hunter Street to Tingewick Road past the University
They’d run past Louis’ on Nelson Street, past the bull ring lined with trees

They’d run along the cycle path, past the printers BCQ, They’d run to Lace Hill Playing fields, if you haven’t been their do!

They’d run to Binns and the Mitre Pub, they’d run to the X5 bus
They won the London marathon but didn’t want much fuss

They’d run through Cornwall’s Meadow, past Black Pepper and Waitrose
They’d run past all the High Street shops where everybody goes

They’d run to Buckingham Library and the Beautiful Old Gaol
They’d run past 5 Barbers, 8 coffee shops,
a tattoo parlour,
a yoga centre,
a fitness studio,
the post office,
M&Co,
W H Smiths,
Leaders hardware,
Antique shic
Barclays Bank
Dominos,
Prego
Prezzo
The dry cleaners
The offie
Oxfam
Scope
The Kings Head for a gin
and the White Hart for an ale
…oh and the Woolpack!

They’d run to the concrete skate park, past the Town Hall and Three cups
They’d run up to Tesco’s Roundabout the one developers messed up

They’d run all along Badgers Way, along the beautiful canal
They’d sometimes feel quite lonely so found company with pals

Their running days turned into weeks and weeks turned into months
The years raced on and still they ran and they always came up trumps

They ran to save a life one day, they ran the railway walk
They ran on along Stowe Avenue where people go to talk

They ran into the local church, to start their married life
They ran to the maternity ward in Milton Keynes (university) hospital to speak to a midwife

They’d run around Bourton Park and up and down Page Hill
They couldn’t stop the running all that running made them Ill

They ran into Swan Surgery to hear what Doctor might prescribe
And when the nurse in there took their pulse she couldn’t quite describe…

‘The condition that you have’ said Doc, ‘is something very rare’
‘You have a virus called runningitus so I’m prescribing you a chair’

They’d run to the moon and back you know, they’d do anything now to stop
And one day they did you know, when they’d finally reached the top

They ran to the Buckingham Civic Day to collect their running medal
They met the mayor with silver hair, they were awarded a bike to pedal

The Advertiser ran a story, it made Buckingham What Matters
The conversation was positive, leaving Brexit spats in tatters

They had all the fame and glory, they’d seen everything they could
They’d looked back on their running days knowing their yesterdays were good

One day they ran right out of breath, they couldn’t run much more
They could barely get up and out of bed, their joints were old and sore

They reached a point where age had won, their hair had thinned and greyed
They ran out of time in this life, their time had run away

We ran to Buckingham cemetery to say our last farewells
The tears ran down a thousand cheeks

And to the ground they fell.

Now they run somewhere else, wherever somewhere is
If anyone talks about them, they speak through running tears

Once upon a time there was
a child who liked to run

They’d run for hours and hours and hours and do it just for fun’