Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 23°C

min temp: 16°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Stowmarket: Do you know which Suffolk Tory preserved the dog end of Winston Churchill’s cigar?

14:00 05 July 2014

Rupert Cooper with the cigar he bought at an auction 50 years ago. The cigar was smoked by Winston Churchill at the time of becoming PM for the second time.

Rupert Cooper with the cigar he bought at an auction 50 years ago. The cigar was smoked by Winston Churchill at the time of becoming PM for the second time.

It could be one of the most famous dog ends in history.

Rupert cooper with the cigar he bought at an auction 50 years ago. The cigar was smoked by Winston Churchill at the time of becoming PM for the second time.Rupert cooper with the cigar he bought at an auction 50 years ago. The cigar was smoked by Winston Churchill at the time of becoming PM for the second time.

And now its owner hopes a new exhibition will help solve the mystery of how it came to be in Suffolk.

The four inch stub of one of Winston Churchill’s iconic cigars was picked up by an anonymous Suffolk Conservative after the leader and statesman learnt he had become peace-time prime minister in 1951.

The butt then made its way from the ash tray in the Woodford constituency to a fundraising auction for the Eye Conservative Association at Braiseworth Hall, Tannington in the sixties where it was sold for £10.5s to Rupert Cooper.

Now Mr Cooper, 93, who has kept the cigar at his home at The Hall, Great Bricett, near Stowmarket ever since, hopes a 12-month exhibition on Churchill at the London Science Museum – in which the cigar stub will feature – will encourage someone to identify the donor or come forward with more information.

Mr Cooper, now 93, said: “I’ve always enjoyed having the memento from the great man, I must say. It’s been in my lounge for over 50 years. But I hope we will can find out who the donor is.”

A letter that accompanied the cigar at the auction, states that, “a member of the Eye Association was working with him (Mr Churchill) at the time, and was unable to resist the temptation of removing the cigar from the ashtray after the new prime minister had left.”

The letter went on to add that the anonymous donor felt that “Sir Winston would have approved of its now being offered for sale to help the Conservative cause.”

Mr Cooper’s son Oliver, 68, of Manor Road, Elmsett, said he thought the donor would have been cautious about coming forward at the time.

He added: “He didn’t want his name to be known at the time, he didn’t want to be branded as a light-fingered member of the party probably. That may still be the case, or he or she might be dead. But it’s all part of the story.”

But Mr Cooper said he hopes the donor might have told someone locally about the incident.

He added: “If someone is willing to come forward and say ‘Yes, it was me or it was my mum or dad that offered it’, then that rounds the whole thing off.”

The cigar will be in London from January for 12 months before returning to Mr Cooper, who said he might have his own plans for it in the future.

He added: “I never intended to light it up, but I might well do, maybe if I get to 100.”

If you have information about the cigar email: oliver@agrocofarms.com.

The Chinese restaurant fire in Halstead - image from Essex County Fire and Rescue

Firefighters were called to a blaze that broke out at a Chinese restaurant in High Street, Halstead, this afternoon.

Updated GVs of the Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

A popular Bury St Edmunds music venue could save the taxpayer £150,000 a year by raising ticket prices an average of just £2.

The Milburn Centre Syndicate at the West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk have scooped £1 million pounds in the National Lottery. Some of the lucky winners received their cheque at Ickworth Hall Hotel, Suffolk.  Picture by: Jason Mitchell

A syndicate of 20 West Suffolk College staff are celebrating their Lotto Millionaire Raffle win.

breaking-news-generic

Police probing a possible sighting of a man near Colchester Garrison this afternoon have confirmed the incident is not linked to the RAF Marham investigation.

Cecil and Alice Westgate, of Nayland, are celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary.

A combination of wonderful Sunday lunches and the fact that his wife is “perfect in almost every way” has kept Cecil Westgate happily married for the past 70 years.

The main terminal building at Stansted Airport

A fugitive brothel madam who went on the run for seven years abroad before being caught at Stansted Airport is behind bars.

Laura Pearman and Elise Augier from Martin & Co with Jack Nicholl and Paul Seymour of pigs gone wild welcome Trotter Pig back after he returns from Hogspital. Pictured with some young pig fans.

Trotters Pig returned to the Pigs Gone Wild trail in Ipswich this lunchtime after being damaged earlier this month.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24