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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 06:53 GMT 07:53 UK
May Day bridge jumpers flout ban
May Day 2007
Jumpers ignored the ban to jump off Magdalen Bridge
Three people evaded a ban to fulfil the May Day tradition of jumping from Magdalen Bridge in Oxford.

The celebration on 1 May is thought of by some as an ancient Spring tradition.

But councillors and emergency services came together to outlaw the event for the second year running because they think it is too dangerous.

The jumpers leapt after barriers were removed as hundreds of revellers gathered in the streets to celebrate May morning. No arrests have been made.

Although some people claim the stunt has been enjoyed for hundreds of years - officials say it is a modern phenomenon.

Councillor John Goddard, the leader of Oxford City Council, said: "I hope that the ancient tradition of not jumping off the bridge will be revived."

Mark Blandford Baker, home bursar at Magdalen College, added: "People often say that jumping off Magdalen Bridge on May morning is a tradition. This is nonsense.

Magdalen Bridge
The bridge was closed before because of safety fears

"It only started happening in the 1960s or 1970s."

South Central Ambulance Service said responding to injuries people received after jumping from the bridge in 2005 put an unacceptable strain on the service.

About 40 people were hurt in 2005 after they ignored police warnings and jumped into the water, which was only about 2ft (60cm) deep.

Ten people ended up in hospital.

May Day bridge tradition banned
30 Apr 07 |  Oxfordshire
Bridge closed for three May Days
02 Jun 06 |  Oxfordshire
Jumpers forced to wait to plunge
01 May 06 |  Oxfordshire
May Day revellers party on bridge
01 May 04 |  Oxfordshire


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