Live updates

Advertisement

Thousands to welcome in May morning in Oxford

Thousands visit the Magdalen Bridge in Oxford to welcome in May Morning Credit: ITV Meridian

Celebrations are beginning in Oxford this morning for May Day.

At six o'clock the Magdalen College choir will sing from the top of the Great Tower.

Thousands of people gather annually to welcome in Spring.

The Magdalen Bridge is closed to traffic until nine - although students are warned not to jump from it.

A mix of traditional and modern celebrations for May Day in Oxford

Well just in case you haven't already realised, it's May the First today and events have been taking place right across the Meridian region.

May Day customs and traditions are steeped in history but are generally a celebration of springtime fertility.

Now, of course, it's an excuse for an early morning party, not least in Oxford where thousands of people gathered in the city at the break of dawn. Asana Greenstreet joined the fun.

Oxford welcomes in May Day

Thousands of students welcomed May Day today in Oxford Credit: PA Wire

More than 5,000 people gathered in Oxford to celebrate the beginning of Spring.

The first of May was marked with bells ringing over the historic city for approximately 20 minutes.

The crowd wore fancy dress costumes and masks, gathered in the street to hear the choir sing from the Magdalen Tower at 6am.

People in Oxford were stopped jumping off the city bridge Credit: PA Wire

Police barricaded the bridge in a bid to stop the university students taking part in the traditional bridge-jumping antics, which have caused many injuries.

A small number of revellers who did appear to consider jumping from the parapets of the centuries old bridge were foiled by security guards.

The choir wave after performing to a crowd in Oxford Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Leader of Oxford City Council, Bob Price said, "We have opened up the city for the last couple of years and people have respected this decision.

"Our aim is to continue to hold a successful event and to support and promote all the activities and events taking place across the city for the people of Oxford to enjoy together."

Advertisement

Celebrating the coming of Spring... It's May Day!

Morris dancers in Radcliffe Square, Oxford last year celebrating May Day Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Archive/Press Association Images

May Day celebrations are being held across the region today with one of the most traditional in Oxford.

The choristers of Magdalen College began singing at 6am before the bells rang out across the city.

The Magdalen Bridge will be open to pedestrians and closed to traffic from 3am until 9am to enable everyone to enjoy the singing in comfort and safety.

The bridge will reopen to traffic as soon as it is safe to do so.

Morris Men will also be dancing in Radcliffe Square, Catte Street and Broad Street, like last year.

Leader of Oxford City Council, Bob Price said, "We have opened up the city for the last couple of years and people have respected this decision.

"Our aim is to continue to hold a successful event and to support and promote all the activities and events taking place across the city for the people of Oxford to enjoy together."

May Day meerkats maypole treat

Not to be outdone by all the celebrations marking May Day, the meerkats at an animal park in Kent have been getting in the act.

Keepers at the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, near Ashford, provided a May Day themed enrichment experience for them by placing a colourful May Pole in their enclosure.

Richard Barnes, Head of Large Carnivore section said: ‘Our meerkat mob is naturally curious and energetic – this May Pole feeder enables us to present them with an alternative way to get their favourite snacks whilst offering them a little bit of a challenge and something different.’

Load more updates