Bury St Edmunds: EADT readers save party celebrations

CHRISTMAS has come early for residents on a Suffolk housing estate thanks to the generosity of readers of the East Anglian Daily Times.

Members of the Anselm Avenue 60-Plus Club in Bury St Edmunds were facing bleak festive celebrations as cash for their annual New Year party had dried up.

But thanks to donations from kind-hearted EADT readers across the county the group will enjoy a sensational New Year lunch. Arthur Smith, 83, chairman of the group, said: “It is absolutely marvellous. It will be the best Christmas we have ever had.”

Only �400 of club funds could be found to subsidise the group’s annual party for 80 guests in the Mildenhall Road estate’s Anselm Avenue Community Centre.

Even if members paid �6 a head for a turkey dinner, it still left a shortfall of �640, which Mr Smith was offering to pay himself.

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But thanks to the appeal in yesterday’s EADT, contributions have poured in, including a �640 cheque to cover the entire outstanding amount from Fulcher funeral directors in Bury.

Mr Smith, a war veteran who served with the Grenadier Guards, said: “I have always carried on through life without help, but this is marvellous.

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“I am ever so excited. All through my life I don’t think I’ve ever been so lucky.”

Reader Linda Harris, from Woolpit, sent the group �20 towards their special event on Friday, January 7.

“It brought tears to my eyes,” she said. “They have got to have their special day.”

David Lockwood, St Edmundsbury borough councillor for Northgate ward, has pledged �200 towards the festive lunch, while several anonymous donors have also contacted the EADT to give cash to the cause.

“We can’t let these wonderful people down,“ Mr Lockwood said. “A lot of them live on their own.

“The only time a lot of them go out is to the club, so the party is an absolute joy for them.”

Editorial comment – Page 26


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