Residents in Eye turned out in force to show their support for the town hall this week - just three days after vandals broke in and slashed historic artwork.
Hundreds packed the town hall for an “informal reopening” of the historic building as its £200,000 refurbishment nears completion.
The show of solidarity follows a break-in over the Easter weekend when vandals slashed through four 19th Century oil paintings in the council chambers, with damage estimated at tens of thousands of pounds.
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday, the Mayor of Eye, Colin Ribchester, thanked the team behind the renovation and townsfolk for their support.
“It’s been a heavy task to raise the amount of money needed to get the town hall as it is now,” he told the gathering.
“I’d like to thank the team of councillors who got together to make this happen. It is absolutely beautiful.
“I’d also like to thank the builders for the fantastic job they have done, working through all weathers.
“They have done a wonderful job.
“I would also like to thank all the people of Eye for their support, especially after recent events.”
Eye Town Hall was built in the mid-19th Century and was originally a cornhall.
A Grade II listed building, it was financed by Sir Edward Kerrison, a local landowner, whose portrait was damaged in the recent raid.
The latest refurbishment includes a new roof, new LED lights, interior decoration, and disabled toilets. The long term ambition is for the building to become self-funding.
For more pictures and reaction from the people of Eye, see this week’s Diss Express.