Firm steps in to get flag flying for Remembrance

Eye, Suffolk. Barry Ryland Maintenance Manger at Vion helping to fly the Union Flag over Eye Town Hall
Eye, Suffolk. Barry Ryland Maintenance Manger at Vion helping to fly the Union Flag over Eye Town Hall

A business has come to the rescue of a north Suffolk town council looking to get its Union Jack flying for this Sunday’s Remembrance service.

Locally-based food manufacturer Vion stepped forward to put Eye Town Hall’s flag back up on Tuesday after a rope keeping it aloft was stolen.

Eye Town Council was told it would cost about £1,000 to scale the heights and get the flag back up, leading to Vion - which has a poultry factory in Magdalen Street - offering the use of its cherrypicker to do the job free of charge.

Barry Ryland, the Vion maintenance manager who did the deed himself on a frosty morning, said: “When we heard what happened, we wanted to do anything we could to help out the local community.

“I know how important it is, as I used to live in Eye, and was a retained firefighter here in the town too.”

The mayor of Eye, Merlin Carr, was delighted that a local business had come forward to help the council out.

He said: “It’s great to see Vion offer to take this project under its wing, as everyone was aware we couldn’t have a Remembrance service without the flag.

“Replacing the rope and paying a firm to put it back up with their cherrypicker would have cost us a lot of money - something the person who committed this crime probably would not have realised at the time.”

It is believed that the rope holding the flag up could have been stolen about six to eight weeks ago.

Eye Town Council only noticed what had happened about three weeks ago, when a group attempted to fly the flag at half mast in honour of the town’s former mayor, Richard Parker, who had recently passed away.

The current flag has been flying above the 155-year-old Grade II-listed town hall since the 1980s.

Getting the rope to replace it has not been a formality, either.

Maria Ford, of the town council, said: “It required an awful lot of manpower just to order the rope - finding out what type of rope was required, what length it should be, and so on, was quite a challenge.”

The town’s Remembrance service event will start with a procession from Eye fire station, in Lambseth Road, at 10.30am.

The group will then congregate at the war memorial at 10.45am.

Just after 11am, there will be a procession to St Peter and St Paul Church.

A Suffolk Police spokesman said that no one has been in arrested in connection with the theft of a flag rope from Eye Town Hall.

If you have any information on this crime, call Suffolk Police on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.