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1 May 2012, 06:00
People celebrating May Day in Oxford will be allowed onto Magdelen Bridge for the second time in 7 years.
May morning is a traditional celebration of the coming of Spring and brings together Oxford’s communities to enjoy dancing, singing and revelry from around the city.
Stewards will be patrolling the bridge as people listen to the choir at the nearby college. It was closed for five years after 40 people were injured jumping off it in 2005.
Thames Valley Police have released this video warning of the dangers of jumping off the bridge
500 bottles of water will be handed out to people to try to slow down their alcohol consumption.
Rachel Capell, City Events and International Links Officer at Oxford City Council, says: “We are delighted that Sainsburys have donated this water and our stewards as well as police officers will be able to hand it out to people attending the event.
”We want everyone to enjoy the May Morning celebration and take part in the event together, in a safe and enjoyable environment.”
Superintendent Chris Sharp, Local Policing Area Commander for Oxford, says: “We will be offering people free water because it helps slow their consumption of alcohol. It also allows officers the chance to engage with people who may have had a little too much to drink in a non-confrontational way.
“It has worked well in previous operations involving the night-time economy in Oxford and I am confident it will be successful again this time.”
May Morning celebrations start at 6am with the choir of Magdalen College singing Hymnus Eucharisticus from the Great Tower. Hymnus Eucharisticus was composed in the 17th century by a Fellow of Magdalen and has been sung every year from the Great Tower on May Morning.
This year Magdalen Bridge will be open to pedestrians and closed to traffic to enable everyone to enjoy the singing in comfort and safety. In the event of the bridge reaching capacity, it may have to be closed for health and safety reasons.
Many bars and restaurants across the city will open for breakfasts including eateries in the city centre, Jericho and East Oxford.
Pubs that will be celebrating May Day include The Bear, Turf Tavern, The King’s Arms, The White Horse, Port Mahon, Cape of Good Hope, and Angel and Greyhound.
Bars that will be opening include the Kazbar on the Cowley Road and All Bar One on the High Street.