The first Bard of Buckingham was appointed on Tuesday October 1, as former town clerk Dean Jones was awarded the ceremonial role following a bardic trial at the Woolpack pub.
Dean, who is now the university’s partnerships and outreach manager, was voted into the post following a closely-fought contest.
Six participants took part in the bardic trial in total, with each performing a piece on the theme of Buckingham and then a theme of their choice.
After the two performances by each potential bard, the audience voted by ballot resulting in a tie between Dean and University of Buckingham lecturer Cherry Coombe.
After Dean and Cherry presented a further performance each, there was another vote, with Dean finally declared the winner.
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.”
A bardic council will now be formed made up of poets, storytellers and those who wish to support the bard in their endeavours.
The bardic council will meet for the first time on Tuesday, October 8 in the town council chamber at 7pm, with all welcome to attend.
Dean will hold the role of bard for a year and will be invited to present his work at town events, including the Christmas lights switch-on and fringe festival.
Once Dean was appointed Bard of Buckingham he had to read the bardic oath which goes as follows:
Words gather and now my bardic watch begins.
It shall not end for two years and a day.
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’s winning poem Buckingham 10k goes as follows:
‘This is my attempt at a Buckingham 10k (marathon of a) poem
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 park run’,
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 five barbers, eight 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’