Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs are coming. Find out more about

Pigs Gone Wild

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.

Car has collided with a tree on Bury Road, Newmarket.

The father of Suffolk County Council leader Colin Noble has died following a road crash.

Ipswich Crown Court.

An Ipswich man with “an entrenched and disturbing interest” in sexually abusing females has been jailed for 12 years.

Suffolk People First conference in Kesgrave

Giving people with learning disabilities a chance to speak up and be heard is the key goal of Suffolk People First, a meeting organised by Stowmarket-based Advocacy organisation Ace Anglia.

The EACH Colour Dash in Christchurch Park in Ipswich in 2015

Christchurch Park is set to get colourful this Sunday, with thousands of people descending on Ipswich town centre for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospice’s (EACH) Colour Dash.

Teddy bears thrown off the church roof in Walsham Le Willows

Teddy bears will be flung off the roof of a Suffolk church in June to mark its village fayre, but thankfully they will be wearing parachutes.

Andy Wood, CEO of Adnams, is leading the devolution charge. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Proposals for two devolution deals for East Anglia were put to the government today - but their specifics remain under-wraps with the chief negotiator fearing making them public could “weaken our negotiating position”.

Work is underway on The Buttermarket in Ipswich.

Jack Wills is preparing to open in the former Croydons store, work on the Primark extension is nearing completion and the transformation of the Buttermarket Shopping Centre is now in its final stage.

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

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24