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Meet the man who wears a bright multi-coloured suit around Ipswich

Norman Lloyd has been turning heads with his colourful patchwork suit. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Norman Lloyd has been turning heads with his colourful patchwork suit. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

His patchwork suit of bright colours may be one of the more unusual fashion choices to have ever graced the streets of Ipswich.

William Coe alongside Norman Lloyd wearing his Elmer suit. Picture: ELMER'S BIG PARADE SUFFOLKWilliam Coe alongside Norman Lloyd wearing his Elmer suit. Picture: ELMER'S BIG PARADE SUFFOLK

However Norman Lloyd's unique tailoring for this year's Elmer trail not only makes him stand out from the crowd, but shows his heartfelt dedication to the hospice which supported his late wife.

As campaign manager for Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk in 2019, Mr Lloyd wanted nothing more than to make a bold statement for the St Elizabeth Hospice campaign.

In a throwaway remark, he asked Coes of Ipswich owner William Coe whether it was possible to get hold of any patchwork material for garments to wear during the summer-long trail.

He was surprised when the clothing store came back about a month later to say it could make a special one-off suit just for the parade, which started in June.

Norman Lloyd at the opening of Ipswich's Elmer trail. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNorman Lloyd at the opening of Ipswich's Elmer trail. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Made out of five yards of material - two yards more than most suits - the result is a stunning jacket and trouser combination that is just as striking as the 55 decorated elephants dotted around the town.

It has certainly caught the public's attention, with Mr Lloyd saying people are "flabbergasted" to see him rocking the multi-coloured look.

"They have to take a double take," he added. "They can't believe it. It's causing a lot of conversation."

Norman Lloyd with staff at St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNNorman Lloyd with staff at St Elizabeth Hospice. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Yet perhaps most moving of all are the suit's personal touches, with the words: "Thank you St Elizabeth Hospice" woven inside to show Mr Lloyd's gratitude for the support his wife Linda received before she died in 2012.

And while the suit - worn with matching white shoes and a white shirt, again from Coes - might raise a smile and a laugh, it comes with a serious message of the difference the Ipswich-based hospice can make to people's lives.

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"We want to let people know that the hospice is a place of a lot of laughter and love, as well as silence and sadness," Mr Lloyd said.

"That's what they did for my late wife - they made those last moments the best they could have been."

Mr Lloyd is also full of praise for Coes' high-quality tailoring of the new garment.

"When you look at the way it's made, it's a proper suit," he said.

"It's not a theatrical suit. You could wear this forever. Coes have done a really good job with this."

However despite its durability and eye-catching look, Mr Lloyd has decided only to wear the suit on special occasions - saying: "Less is more."

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It has not been decided what will happen to the suit once the Elmer trail finishes on September 7 but Mr Lloyd is keen it is kept as a memento of the hugely successful campaign, which has brought thousands of extra visitors to Ipswich's best-known landmarks.

A special souvenir sticker album and activity book has been created to accompany Elmer's Big Parade Suffolk, with 30,000 packets of stickers collected or purchased by eager enthusiasts.

Every copy of the Ipswich Star and EADT contains a voucher for you to claim a free pack of stickers while some papers may contain more than one voucher.

The albums are available to buy at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star office in Princes Street.

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