Nacton braced for macabre tourists

ON the anniversary of the most distressing month in Nacton's history, villagers were today warned to expect an influx of macabre tourists.Residents are bracing themselves for the ghouls - people coming to see the sites where the bodies of three women were found.

ON the anniversary of the most distressing month in Nacton's history, villagers were today warned to expect an influx of macabre tourists.

Residents are bracing themselves for the ghouls - people coming to see the sites where the bodies of three women were found.

Villagers are hoping people will respect the sites where floral tributes have also been laid, but they know it is inevitable some of the more inquisitive will come to see where the tragic events happened.

Canon Geoffrey Grant, vicar of Nacton, said: “It seems horrible, a dreadful thing, but we have been warned to expect tourists looking round Nacton because these poor girls were found here. We really hope that doesn't happen, but it might.”

Villagers have been receiving support and good wishes from all over the world over the past month, and were now trying to get back to normality.

Five candles were lit for the five women who died - Gemma Adams, Tania Nicol, Anneli Alderton, Paula Clennell and Annette Nicholls - at the Christmas services at St Martin's Church in the village and a special prayer was prayed.

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Anneli's body was found in woodland near the entrance to Amberfield School on December 10, while Paula and Annette were discovered on the old A45 near Levington, but within Nacton parish, two days later.

Now that the road into Nacton is open again and the police have gone, residents are trying to get on with their lives again.

“It is not that we are unsympathetic and we feel very much for the families of these young women, but the village needs to get back to normality and we need to get on with our lives,” said Mr Grant.

“This will take time and will be difficult.

“People have been very supportive of each other, and we have also had great support from outside the village.

“Everyone's Christmas cards had messages inside saying 'thinking of you' and we had cards and calls of support from as far as Australia and New Zealand, so people knew the distress we were suffering being at the centre of all that was happening.”

Great efforts had been made to protect the children at the village's three schools - Orwell Park, Amberfield and the village primary - from what had been happening, and there were no plans for memorial services or to mark the deaths at the moment.

Amberfield pupils missed the end of the Christmas term, a favourite part of the school year, as their grounds were sealed off by police. The grounds now looked very different in part, the landscape physically scarred, as police stripped the bottom of trees to clear an area in a search for clues.

Do you live in Nacton? How do you feel the village has been affected? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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