Apply now for £40 gift

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ELDERLY men are being encouraged to continue a Christmas tradition dating back more than 300 years.

The Sudbury Municipal Charities is asking men, who are over 70 years old and live in the town, to apply for a Christmas Day gift and be part of an event which began in 1668.

Originally known as the “George Coats”, overcoats were given to deserving elderly men in the town at the request of Mayor Nathanial King.

Over the years, the gift has altered and £40 clothing vouchers exchangeable at two stores in Market Hill are now handed out at the town hall on Christmas Day by the mayor of Sudbury.

Adrian Walters, clerk to the trustees of Sudbury Municipal Charities, which organises the event, said that 16 applicants received vouchers last year.

“We very much hope that people can assist once again in keeping this ancient tradition alive,” he said.

“The only requirements are that people live in Sudbury and make the best possible effort to come to the town hall at 10am on Christmas Day to receive their voucher.”

Mince pies and drinks will also be served during the ceremony.

To be eligible, apply in writing to Sudbury Municipal Charities,

Longstop Cottage, The Street, Lawshall, Bury St Edmunds, IP29 4QA, by November 26.