Annual gift ceremony takes place at the Town Hall, in Sudbury

Some of the voucher recipients with Mayor Sarah Page and her daughter Beka.

Some of the voucher recipients with Mayor Sarah Page and her daughter Beka. - Credit: Archant

There was a packed Mayor’s Parlour at the Town Hall, in Sudbury, on Christmas Day, as the Sudbury Municipal Charities celebrated the 349th gift ceremony.

There were 25 applicants, many of them who met up for the presentation, to receive their vouchers from the Mayor Sarah Page.

The ceremony remembers Nathanial King who was twice mayor of Sudbury in the mid 17th century. Originally his gift distribution was in the form of coats known as the “George Coats” on account of the money coming from rent received from the George Inn where the Edinburgh Wool shop now stands. Currently vouchers are provided which can be exchanged for clothing at Peddars or Winch & Blatch.

Drinks and mince pies were provided by the Town Hall for the occasion as the recipients enjoyed an hour among old friends and acquaintances.

Although in recent years it has become more difficult to attract applicants it was noted that the Sudbury Municipal Charities’ minute book recorded only six recipients at the ceremony a century ago.

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It is to be hoped that next year will see more people aged 70 and over apply for a voucher to celebrate the 350th anniversary of Nathanial King’s distribution of gifts.

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