May market to celebrate Gainsborough’s birthday

CELEBRATIONS: Last year's re-enactment.
CELEBRATIONS: Last year's re-enactment.

Celebrations to mark the birth of Sudbury’s most famous son, Thomas Gainsborough, will be in full swing this weekend.

The artist was born in the town in May 1727 and Gainsborough’s House is holding a May market to ensure the occasion does not pass without note.

In honour of his birthday, a garland of flowers will be placed around the statue of Gainsborough on Market Hill on Saturday. Musicians will then lead a procession down to his birthplace at Gainsborough’s House in Gainsborough Street.

Here, a May market will be held in the house and gardens, with stalls selling a variety of items, including plants, cakes, cards, prints and collectables. Talks on some of the paintings on display will take place.

“Marking Gainsborough’s birthday is always a big occasion and it is a tradition that has grown over the years,” said Mark Bills, director of Gainsborough’s House.

“We are not sure of the exact day Gainsborough was born but it was close to this time.”

Last year, to mark 100 years since Gainsborough’s statue was unveiled, a re-enactment was held. Mr Bills said the weekend was the ideal chance for people to learn more about Gainsborough for free.

The May market is open from 10am to 3pm.