Primary school pupils enjoy traditional Penny and Bun Day at spectacular hall
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A majestic country house continued the long held tradition of inviting primary school pupils for the afternoon to collect a coin and a sweet treat.
In an annual occasion dating back more than 160 years, children from Somerleyton Primary School went along to Somerleyton Hall yesterday for Penny and Bun Day.
Having arrived at the hall and marvelled at the spectacular interior, the pupils - aged between four and 11 - were shown to the ballroom before entertaining Lady Somerleyton with vocal renditions of three songs falling under the theme of travelling.
The excitement was palpable as youngsters waited in anticipation to be rewarded for their performance. Finally, the array of iced buns was brought out and the children devoured their prizes, in addition to receiving a 50p piece.
Penny and Bun Day began in the 1840s when the hall was occupied by Lowestoft entrepreneur Sir Morton Peto, and has been a mainstay in the Somerleyton Primary School calendar ever since.
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'It's so lovely for the pupils to continue coming to the hall for this occasion,' said Lady Somerleyton, the wife of Hugh Crossley, 4th Baron Somerleyton.
'When it started everyone received a bun and a penny, although inflations means that we've had to increase it to 50p!
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'As always it's been great to hear the children singing - the ballroom was obviously built to host balls, but there have also been various recitals over the years.'
The school's headteacher, Louise Spall, emphasised how much pupils look forward to the special day at the hall.
'This is an important tradition in our calendar and, not only do the children get a delicious iced bun, but they also have an opportunity to perform,' she said.
'Music and the arts are a big focus for us at the school; being able to perform in a place as fabulous as Somerleyton Hall gives the pupils a huge confidence boost and helps them to prepare for the Celebration of Schools' Music concert in Snape Maltings later this year.'
Year six pupil Harry Varne, aged 11, added: 'I was very excited to come to the hall today as it's something I've enjoyed doing every year.
'I enjoy it not only for the bun, but also for the singing and taking part.'