PM praises county for holiday welcome

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown today thanked the people of Suffolk for their “warmth” during his family's holiday in the county.

PRIME Minister Gordon Brown today thanked the people of Suffolk for their “warmth” during his family's holiday in the county.

Despite the global credit crisis and worrying opinion polls, Mr Brown has revealed his stay was “fantastic” and he paid tribute to the local people who gave him such a warm welcome.

Mr Brown, who was staying with his wife and two sons at the £4,500 a week Shadingfield Hall near Southwold, said: “Sarah, John, Fraser and I have had a fantastic time here in Suffolk. It has been a great holiday and I want to thank all the people here for their warmth and hospitality.”

Despite being one of the most recognisable men in the world, the PM attempted to have as normal a break as possible.

Cinema-goers at Lowestoft's Hollywood Cinema were left in a state of shock last Sunday when Mr Brown and his family joined them to watch Wall-E.

The Brown's also visited Covehithe, Southwold Maize Maze and pig-business Dingley Dell Pork near Wickham Market.

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Acclaimed photographer Dave Hogan, who owns the GradeII listed Shadingfield Hall with his wife Janice, has said that the PM enjoyed himself.

He also revealed that the Browns left a book for the couple as a token of their appreciation called “Dads - a Celebration of Fatherhood from Britain's Finest and Funniest”, which is part edited by Mrs Brown and contains a foreword by the PM.

Mr Brown also left a bottle of House of Commons whisky and the two family's children shared letters.

Mr Hogan said: “He left a lovely note to Janice and myself to thank us for our hospitality and his wife Sarah left the book for us.

“It is a very nice gift and I sat and read it and thought that you will learn more about the PM and his family and wife from that than anything else. You get the sense that they are very normal people who are in a very high profile position.

“From all accounts and from the letter that he left us the family had a wonderful holiday. I think he did what everyone else does when they come to Suffolk and Southwold which is have a very restful time.”

And with Mr Brown no doubt occasionally burying his head in some heavy summer political reading, there was plenty to keep his two sons occupied.

“My 5-year-old daughter Olivia wrote a note to Mr Brown's two kids saying that they could use any of their toys. My children got a lovely note back from Mr Brown's children thanking them”, said Mr Hogan. “It was a very personal thing.

“I think everybody, whatever their politics, deserves a good break and that is what he has had.”

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