Sudbury pensioners encouraged to apply for centuries old clothing voucher tradition

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Latest community news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Pensioners are invited to apply for a voucher to be put towards clothing as part of a tradition that dates back almost 350 years.

The vouchers will be presented during an Ascension Day ceremony to be held in St Peter’s on May 25.

Applicants must live in Sudbury and should not have received a voucher last year.

The tradition dates back to the mid-17th century when Sudbury draper Martin Cole bequeathed that the rental charge from Shalford Mill in Great Henny be used to make up “50 shirts and 50 shifts” to be distributed among local people.

Later, Sudbury mayor Nathaniel King added to the gift when he bequeathed his money to pay for 100 six-penny loaves to be shared among the same people who received the shirts.

Today, applicants get vouchers to be spent on clothing at Winch & Blatch or Roys.

The ceremony is overseen by trustees for the Sudbury Municipal Charities.

To apply, email Adrian Walters at a.walters@sclc.entadsl.com or write to Longstop Cottage, The Street, Lawshall, Bury St Edmunds, IP29 4QA – stating your address and age. Applications should be submitted by April 29.