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Triple joy for Suffolk village

PUBLISHED: 09:58 03 August 2001 | UPDATED: 15:16 03 March 2010

FLYING the flag is three times the fun and triple cause for celebration for a village on the outskirts of Stowmarket.

P19 pic/story lead with seven pix in fotostation

BY James Fraser

james.fraser@ecng.co.uk

FLYING the flag is three times the fun and triple cause for celebration for a village on the outskirts of Stowmarket.

For not only is Harleston basking in the success of being crowned Mid Suffolk Village of the Year … they are also marking two other milestones.

Their celebrations, complete with marquee and refreshments on an immaculate village green, saw their Millennium flagpole used for the first time and parish stalwart Monty Phoenix honoured for his 25 years of service to the village near Stowmarket.

A Union Jack proudly fluttered on the new 15ft pole as Mid Suffolk Council's chairman Tony Fowler presented the Muntons plc Trophy to parish chairman Trevor Scarff and unveiled the village sign that was patriotically draped in the flag of St George.

He told the assembled crowd that Harleston had won plaudits for the village eight times in more than 20 years of the contest, which is held every two years.

The village – population just 160 – went on to come a commendable third in the county-wide competition.

Paying tribute to the community's spirit – which without a pub, post office or shop relies on organised public get-togethers – Mr Fowler congratulated Harleston's residents on their "exceptional effort" in making the village thrive.

After thanking his fellow villagers, Mr Scarff had one last duty to perform.

He presented his predecessor as parish chairman, Monty Phoenix, who held the post for a quarter of a century, with a silver plate.

Mr Phoenix jokingly recalled his first meeting where he turned up late – and was immediately elected chairman!

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