Knickers to the credit crunch

HARD-up villagers in Suffolk have got their knickers in a twist - and replaced the worn-out flags for their traditional fete with bunting made entirely of underwear.

Laurence Cawley

HARD-up villagers in Suffolk have got their knickers in a twist - and replaced the worn-out flags for their traditional fete with bunting made entirely of underwear.

An urgent appeal brought in more than 100 pairs of smalls ranging from sensible pants to skimpy lingerie. These have been turned into strings of gaily-coloured flags which will be strung up around the village green in Stansfield, near Haverhill.

The idea came about following a meeting of the village fete committee last month.


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They were discussing what still needed to be done when one member asked about the bunting amid concerns whether they had enough of it in good enough condition for a fete.

A decision was made that the expense of replacing it with new bunting could not be justified in the current economic climate and an alternative needed to be found.

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So after the meeting, in the village pub, helpers came up with their knicker-bunting idea and the unwanted underwear flooded in.

A collection bin in the community's only street was soon filled with donations and local seamstress Delia Berridge and helpers began turning the pants into 40 metres of decorative pennants.

Chairman of the fete committee Mary Evans said: “When we realised that we could not afford to replace the old bunting we hit on the plan to use knickers instead. As is the case everywhere, money is a bit tight and we thought we could afford to replace the bunting.

“It seemed an excellent recycling idea and people have been very generous. We have had a whole range from sensible M&S and Bridget Jones knickers to some rather risque lacy ones which were donated anonymously.

“I am sure visitors will take a second look when they see yards of pants flying in the air. We got about 100 pairs and in a village of about 200, that's a lot of people offering up their underwear.”

She added villages had been very conscientious in ensuing all donations had been well laundered prior to handing in their smalls.

The fete - which includes Morris Men, a Punch and Judy show, birds of prey, a dog show, a steel band and fancy dress competition - will be held today from noon until 4pm and is expected to raise hundreds of pounds towards the village hall.

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