Anyone for cream teas ?.....
The morning began with Judy & Barry Lacey, together with Jackie Lewis who had organised the Cream Teas, spending a few moments being interviewed by Malcolm Boyden 'live' on Radio Oxford. Judy had already primed Malcolm on what the church would be doing so he knew what questions to ask in order to give a good plug for the
Cream Teas at Bicester Methodist Church.
It was quite amazing to see Malcolm on Sheep Street with his microphone casually talking to so many of the Bicester folk, some who had various connections with the Torch. Even more amazing were the hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of people all eagerly awaiting the arrival of the 'Torch'. What a super special day in the life of Bicester.
At the church, although it was planned to serve tea and coffee from 1.00pm with the Cream Teas only being available from 2.00 – 4.00pm, it quickly became evident that soon after midday we were going to have quite a few customers! So quite some time before 1 o'clock, we started just with teas and coffees but the requests for cream teas were becoming more and more, so we started with the cream teas a lot earlier than planned. Fortunately, with the super-market only across the road from the church, assuming you could get through the crush barriers all the way down Sheep Street, we made a few quick excursions across the road to top up our supplies of ice cream, cornets, milk and jam, the demand being more than we had bargained for! There was, additionally, some fantastic music supplied by Elim Church with the Revd Dennis Niziol leading his Group playing some extremely foot tapping music for at least two hours or more. Well done to Dennis and his lads.
The person carrying the flame duly appeared around 3.15pm but with so many people thronging Sheep Street
outside the church, all that we could see was the top of the torch with the flame burning brightly. No sooner had the
runner appeared than he, well, we think it was a man, was off down St John's Street heading towards Oxford where a big party was planned for the evening in South Park. The weather during the time was so changeable. Around
midday it started to rain a little then by early afternoon the sun was really warm, perfect for the many who were 'camped' on the front lawn of the church. But by the time it came to pack everything away at 4.00pm, it was suddenly quite chilly. And almost before you could snap your fingers, the crowds had all dispersed leaving very little litter behind!
An excellent day for Bicester. It was great to see the Church so alive with so many people. As one person was heard to say "If only all these people were around on Sundays!"
Thanks go to everyone who helped to make our afternoon of Cream Teas at BMC so successful including the ladies in the kitchen and not forgetting at least one man in the kitchen, and the many others who carried tables and chairs both from the church to the front lawn and then put them all away again afterwards. Well done to
everyone. And, we raised £215 for Church funds. Excellent!