Ancient tradition keeps the town ‘special’

GIFT GIVING: Residents who recieved Ascension Day Gifts with mayor Jack Owen and Geoff Challacombe, centre.
GIFT GIVING: Residents who recieved Ascension Day Gifts with mayor Jack Owen and Geoff Challacombe, centre.
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A tradition dating back more than 350 years has been continued.

Around 35 Sudbury residents, all aged over 70, attended St Peter’s on Thursday to receive vouchers for clothing or food.

The event, organised by the Sudbury Municipal Charities, marked Ascension Day in a ceremony first started in the 17th century following the death of Sudbury draper Martin Cole.

Mr Cole, who died in 1622, bequeathed in his will that the rental charge from Shallford Mill in Great Henny should be used to make up 100 shirts for the people of his home town every year.

This gift was added to by former mayor Nathaniel King, who left money for 100 penny loaves to be distributed on Ascension Day.

Geoff Challacombe, chairman of the Sudbury Municipal Charities, said: “It is these small traditions that make Sudbury special and we will continue them for as long as we can.”

Mayor Jack Owen presented this year’s gift – a £25 voucher which can be spent at Winch and Blatch or the Co-op.