About 20 masked raiders stormed into a Brackley restaurant and abducted the town’s leading citizen, the Banbury Guardian reported on February 20, 1986.
Town Mayor Keith Davies was bound and blindfolded and carried away by the raiders through the Market Place where ransom for his release was demanded.
But it was all in good fun – the kidnappers were pupils from Magdalen College School and the mayor-snatch was a stunt to promote their charity rag week.
Cllr Davies played his part with good humour as students ran from shop to shop asking for a donation in return for the mayor. But there was a sinister option open to the people of Brackley as they could also choose to contribute to the alternative fund to pay to use the mayor as part of the foundation on the A43 by-pass.