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Jenson's right on the button

By Somerset Standard  |  Posted: December 05, 2013

  • Members of Frome Town Band on stage

  • James Hancock, Daniel Hancock, Eric Anderson and Joe Vine at the event

  • Jenson rides into town and, below left, in his F1 car; below right, with mayor Dickon Moore, and Quintyn Howard-Evans, of Cooper and Tanner

  • Jensen gives Frome a big thumbs-up for its fantastic welcome

  • The Endicott triplets of Frome wait excitedly for Jenson to arrive

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FROME had never seen or heard anything quite like it.

The streets were transformed into a Formula 1 race track, with the ear-splitting roar of a Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 race car reverberating off the town's historic buildings with Jenson Button in the driver's seat.

The thousands of people who lined the pavements had expected to see the 33-year-old Frome Flyer switch on the Christmas lights and parade in an open top car waving to the cheering crowds.

But stunned onlookers were treated to a once in a lifetime display, Frome's famous son burning rubber in the Market Place.

Jenson, born and brought up in Frome and educated at Selwood Middle School and Frome College, promised the people of Frome the loudest noise they had ever heard and they certainly go it when the Formula 1 racing champion screamed through the narrow streets performing donuts and burn-outs in the makeshift track, miraculously set up in the hours before his arrival.

It had been the town's best kept secret with Frome Town Council only revealing Jenson's Christmas present to the town hours before.

Afterwards Jenson admitted it was the first time he had "done a donut" in the town centre – or as far as he could remember.

He said: "It has been amazing coming home. People can see a Formula 1 car on the television but it is something quite different to have the experience of seeing it in real life and experiencing the smell, the sound and the adrenalin it creates."

Among the cheering crowds was Frome triplets Gil, Kimi and Dillon, equipped with ear muffs and delighted to meet their hero.

Dad Neil Endicott said: "When my wife was pregnant with the boys and they were just bumps we called them Fernando, Jenson and Kimi after Kimi Raikkonen and the name Kimi stuck.

"We all think Jenson is absolutely brilliant and a great ambassador for Frome."

Having driven in an open top Mercedes SL65 V12 AMG to the Market Place, Jenson conducted the ceremonial duties of switching on the Christmas lights.

Afterwards he told crowds how delighted he was to back in his hometown, despite the fact Monaco was a little warmer at this time of the year.

He said: "It has been amazing to see so many people and to have been given the honour of switching on the town's Christmas lights.

"There is still a massive place in my heart for Frome.

"I have a lot of great mates who live here and the support I get from everyone here really makes a big difference."

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