IT was a race against the clock for parents Jan-Willem and Sophie Boost, who sped past a flurry of fireworks on the way to the arrival of their new baby.

The couple from Jericho welcomed their son Jack, weighing 9lb 6oz, at about 12.10am on New Years Day morning at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford while millions of people welcomed in the new year.

Jack had been due to arrive on on Boxing Day but instead was the first baby born in Oxfordshire in 2018.

Mrs Boost, who works at the JR as an anaesthetist in maternity, said: “It was incredibly quick.

“We had been for a long walk in the woods purely to get him to come out, then we were home and I was watching There’s Something About Mary when I went into labour about 11pm.

“Then it was a quick half hour rush to get granny round to look after our 18-month-old, then a quick drive to the hospital. I was screaming the whole way and just remember seeing all the fireworks going off out the window.

“It was really lucky I didn’t have him in the car as it was within about five minutes of getting to the hospital he was here.”

Mr and Mrs Boost said they were elated and looking forward to taking little Jack home to meet his older brother Rory.

The delivery suite of the women’s centre at the JR had welcomed 11 New Year Day babies by the time the Oxford Mail went to press.

Laura Fowler and Jai Wilmer, both 27, were among those on the wards, after the birth of their baby daughter Phoebe.

The little girl was born at 2.45am, weighing 5lbs, after Ms Fowler was induced at 9am Sunday.

She said: “I was banking on her coming out on New Year's Eve and had even bought a 2017 sleep suit but she had other ideas.

“We are extremely pleased and happy.

“It’s great she came on New Year’s Day as we don’t really celebrate it much normally, but its going to be a good way to celebrate her birthday now.”

First time parents Benson and Ruth Kinyua, from Abingdon, welcomed Laetitia-Anne into the world at 4.22am, weighing 6lbs 4oz.

Mrs Kinyua said: “We have been waiting for her since her due date on December 23, so it has been a nervous Christmas.”

The 35-year-old went into labour shortly after midnight.

She said: “She is just so beautiful and perfect.”

“She is the most precious gift for the start of 2018.”