Suffolk throws open its doors for the county's big day
- Credit: SARAH LUCY BROWN
The best that Suffolk has to offer was on show yesterday as theatres, farms, museums and nature reserves all threw open their doors to welcome visitors for the county’s annual celebration.
On the longest day of the year, the sun shone first on the UK’s most eastern county to provide the perfect weather for a day of festivities.
The show set off at a galloping pace at Framlingham Castle with a visit from a Suffolk Punch horse, which was voted as the county’s top icon by EADT readers in an online poll to find the top 25 icons of Suffolk, narrowly edging out the castle into second place.
The results of the poll were announced to coincide with Suffolk Day.
There was also a visit from the torch that had been on a tour of Suffolk as part of the Festival of Suffolk.
Suffolk medals were then presented to five "truly exceptional" individuals in recognition of their outstanding contributions to their fields of work.
The Lord Lieutenant of Suffolk, Clare, Countess of Euston and High Sheriff Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton were also present for the medal presentation, along with mayors from across the county.
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The Rt Rev Martin Seeley, Bishop of the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese, said Suffolk Day was a day to give thanks.
He said: "We give thanks for the all the people across our county who give their time, effort and energy for the sake of others.
“Our county is suffused with a generous spirit, and we see that in the countless ways where individuals, community groups and churches are providing support and care, food and fellowship, for those in need.
“We see it too in the way those across our county who work in public service go the extra mile after mile after mile.
“So Suffolk Day is a time to give thanks for all whose kindness, care, expertise and experience is used for the sake of others.”
A host of local attractions were welcoming visitors for the big day, including The Long Shop Museum in Leiston which is dedicated to the history of agricultural machinery and trolleybuses.
The Suffolk Police Museum reopened for the first time since the Covid pandemic struck in March, 2020, at the force’s Martlesham HQ, providing a glimpse into the history of policing in the county.
Suffolk residents were also able to explore the National Trust’s Orford Ness site for free, while the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) was offering free visits to its reserve at Minsmere and Jimmy’s Farm was also taking part.
Theatre fans could also do backstage tours of the Regent Theatre and Corn Exchange in Ipswich.