Picture Gallery: Penny bun tradition brings joy to children in Somerleyton

CHILDREN embraced a tradition dating back more than 150 years when they received pennies and buns from Somerleyton Hall.

Pupils from Somerleyton Primary School were invited to the stately home to collect a 50p piece and an iced bun from Lara Crossley, the wife of the Hon Hugh Crossley.

But they also used the occasion last Friday to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens' birth by donning Victorian outfits and performing songs from the musical Oliver! which was based on his story Oliver Twist.

Nyree Martin, the acting head of the school, said it was fantastic to visit the hall and take part in the long-standing tradition.

She added: 'The children have been studying the Victorians so it seemed like a natural progression to perform the Oliver! songs. It has provided an extension to the work they have been doing in class.'

The visit saw 37 children pack into the ballroom at Somerleyton Hall where they performed popular songs including, Food Glorious Food, Where is Love? and I'd do Anything.

Ellysia Bendall, eight, said it was the first time the school had performed to an 'important' person.

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She said: 'I thought it was fun because we hadn't done this in front of an important audience.'

She added: 'The sticky bun was really tasty and I liked performing the song Um Pa Pa because it is really joyful.'

As well as collecting their pennies and buns, the children also had the opportunity to explore the hall's famous maze.

Mrs Crossley said: 'It was really amazing. They are a very talented bunch of children and it is such a wonderful tradition – every year it gets better and better.

'It is really lovely to think that in 50 years' time we will still be doing it when Johnny (her son) takes over.'

The tradition has continued to happen since the 1840s when Lowestoft entrepreneur Sir Morton Peto lived at the hall, overseeing extensive refurbishment work inside the building and in the grounds.

It was also carried out by Savile Crossley, the former Lord Somerleyton, who died on January 24, aged 83.

Click link in top right hand corner of the page to see more pictures.

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