Amazing 107-year-old bun

TODAY people around the country will be tucking into their hot cross buns - but for an amazing 107 years, Margaret Haste's bun has remained untouched.It is a poignant reminder of a sad death of a young girl more than a century ago and for Mrs Haste to throw the bun away would be unthinkable.

TODAY people around the country will be tucking into their hot cross buns - but for an amazing 107 years, Margaret Haste's bun has remained untouched.

It is a poignant reminder of a sad death of a young girl more than a century ago and for Mrs Haste to throw the bun away would be unthinkable.

Today, sitting in its airtight box it is pale and fragile and probably doesn't taste very nice at all but it is the only reminder left of her mother's sister Ada Herbert who died at the tender age of 13 in 1899.

How it has survived all this time is a mystery, but Mrs Haste has put its unusual longevity down to some form of preservative in the ingredients and the fact it is kept in an airtight box.

Sitting in her home in Priory Court, Nacton, the retired special needs teacher told the tragic story.

She said: “Ada Herbert was my mother's sister. In 1899 she was 13, the eldest of five children. Shortly before Easter she was taken ill with quincies (tonsillitis) of the throat.”

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Sure enough in her grandmother Sophia's diary entry on March 13 1899 the sad words 'my darling was taken ill' appear.

Mrs Haste said: “She died on Good Friday. The hot cross bun man came round, they used to sing 'one-a-penny two-a-penny hot cross buns' and carried a round tray on their heads. I think the bun was a two-a-penny one.

“Ada wanted a bun like the other children but when she was given it she put it to her lips and said “I'm sorry mother but I can't eat it.” It's very sad really. She so wanted one.”

Ada died a few hours later on March 31 1899.

Mrs Haste said: “Of course you don't die from quincies now but then children dying were much more common. She was apparently a wonderful little girl.”

A death notice which appeared at the time recorded the death of the teenager.

Mrs Haste added: “It was terribly sad for my mother. She said her mother used to sing about the house but it was a long time before she sang again. They were devastated by the loss of their child.”

Margaret remembers her family talking about Ada's death. My grandmother and mother used to talk about her a lot.

She said: “My grandmother kept the bun as a memento in Ada's work box, my mother kept it and passed it on to me. Maybe one of my grandchildren will have it one day.”

Do you have story to tell? Do you have something extraordinary passed down through your family? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

Hot cross buns! Hot cross buns!

One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

If you have no daughters, give them to your sons

One a penny two a penny - Hot cross buns

WHY DO WE EAT HOT CROSS BUNS

In Christian countries buns are traditionally eaten on Good Friday with the cross standing as the symbol of Christ.

However, some believe that they pre-date Christianity and were used in rituals in paganism, thought there is no original source and the first recorded use of the phrase is not until 1733.

Source: Wikipedia

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