Applications open for Suffolk town's 401 year-old tradition

Mrs Queenie Ablitt receiving her Ascension Day gift voucher from mayor Jack Owen

Mrs Queenie Ablitt receiving her Ascension Day gift voucher from mayor Jack Owen. - Credit: Adrian Walters

Sudbury residents aged 75 and above are being urged to apply for gift tokens to keep a centuries-old village tradition alive.

Sudbury's Ascension Day dates back to 1620, when the will of a draper, named Martin Cole, left instructions that said money from rents should be used to buy 50 shirts and smocks for the people of Sudbury every year.

This was added to by former Mayor Nathaniel King, who decided that the people should also get a loaf of bread.

Today, overseen by Sudbury Municipal Charities, the annual ceremony sees people exchange vouchers for food or clothing.

This year's celebration is taking place on May 26 at Sudbury Town Hall.

Chairman of the Sudbury Municipal Charities, Sam Hobson, said: “It is traditions like this that make Sudbury special - there are not many towns that still celebrate a custom from 400 years ago.”

Applicants, over the age of 75, are advised to apply in writing to be sent to Sudbury Municipal Charities at The Christopher Centre, 10 Gainsborough Street, CO10 2EU by April 16.

Most Read

Application forms can also be picked up at the town hall, with only one application per household allowed.