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Suffolk town's special lamp post disappears

PUBLISHED: 06:56 27 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:53 06 July 2010

Louisa Kennard

A symbol of cross-channel friendship between Beccles and its French twin town has gone missing. The twinning lamppost, which was given to the people of Beccles 22 years ago, has disappeared.

A symbol of cross-channel friendship between Beccles and its French twin town has gone missing.

The twinning lamppost, which was gifted to the people of Beccles 22 years ago, has disappeared from Exchange Square.

Now the twinning association wants it returned before its friends from the Normandy town of Petit-Couronne visit next week

Brian Taylor, vice-chairman of the Beccles Twinning Association, said: “We don't know when it went and we don't know how long it's been gone,” said. “We don't know if somebody took it or if it's decorating somebody's garden. It's one of those things that you don't realise has gone until somebody points it out.”

The old fashioned-style lamppost was on a brick pillar lining the entrance to the shelter area in Exchange Square, and had a cross bar at the top and a lamp holder.

It was presented to Beccles in 1988 for the 10th anniversary of the twinning, but all that is left now are three holes where the poles once were.

Twenty people from Petit-Couronne are visiting for Easter, a tradition that has been upheld for many years, and Mr Taylor admitted that he feared the missing lamppost would reflect badly on Beccles.

“When people are new to Beccles we usually take them to see the lamppost,” said Mr Taylor. “It's a shame, because we're very proud of Beccles. The last thing you want is for something to be given to you and it's disappeared or is damaged.”

The two towns usually have an exchange of presents every year, and in the past Beccles have presented their French counterparts with gifts such as a post box and a telephone box.

He added: “As far as I know they've never been damaged”

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