Birthday of Sudbury artist is cheered

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Famous artist Thomas Gainsborough gets a rousing birthday celebration as The Sudbury Society organised its annual garlanding ceremony at his statue on Market Hill.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Famous artist Thomas Gainsborough gets a rousing birthday celebration as The Sudbury Society organised its annual garlanding ceremony at his statue on Market Hill.
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A BUGLE fanfare and town crier’s bell rang out on Market Hill on Saturday morning to mark the annual celebration of the birth of Sudbury’s most famous resident, artist Thomas Gainsborough.

Shoppers, residents and market stallholders gathered round – some dressed in traditional 18th century costumes – as members of The Sudbury Society celebrated the birthday of the artist with a “garlanding” ceremony of Gainsborough’s statue outside St Peter’s.

Town crier Geoff Banwell, buglers from the Long Melford Corps of Drums and the Waldingfield Minstrels took part in the event.

A distinctive red, white and blue garland, in recognition of the Queen’s Jubilee next month and the 40th anniversary of The Sudbury Society this year, had already been placed around the statue’s neck the day before.

Passers-by crowded around the statue to listen to the proclamations of the town crier and joined in singing “Happy Birthday, Thomas”.

Society press officer Anne Grimshaw said shoppers and market stallholders were given lapel stickers with Happy Birthday Thomas Gainsborough on.