A popular social event for the elderly and disabled celebrated its 60th year in a Suffolk village with a “thoroughly enjoyable occasion for all”.

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The annual Mendlesham Parish Party on Saturday was attended by more than 170 people who were treated to a sherry reception, three-course-meal and entertainment.

Mendlesham Parish Party treasurer Ken Abbott said the event went “extremely well”.

“As a social event it’s always very popular and I think the reason is that you don’t have to belong to any church or organisations to come, its open to everyone,” he said. “For many people it’s the one time of the year they see each other.

“There was a fun filled atmosphere and a thoroughly enjoyable occasion for all.”

The event was first held in 1954 by Bessie Godfrey, the pub landlady and Eileen Juby, a local schoolteacher, and has been held at various locations in the village ever since.

A committee of six, with voluntary support, organise the food, drink and entertainment as well as arranging transport for those with mobility issues and delivery of meals to those who are unable to attend. Committee chairman Michael Denny said he hoped it would continue “for many years in the future.”

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