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All the Bury St Edmunds activities and events to celebrate St Edmund's Day from a selfie with giant steel monk sculpture to cocktails and a drawing competition



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A giant monk sculpture made from steel is to go on display to celebrate St Edmund’s Day and promote the 1,000th anniversary celebrations of Bury St Edmunds’ former abbey.

The 7ft 6ins monk will be installed in the crypt in Bury St Edmunds’ Abbey Gardens ruins, where St Edmund’s Shrine would have stood, from Friday, November 19 to Sunday, November 21.

The preview weekend will be the public’s only chance to take a photograph or selfie with the monk this year for entry into an online competition.

Kevin Baldwin, of Designs on Metal, with the monk
Kevin Baldwin, of Designs on Metal, with the monk

St Edmund's Day is on November 20 and the monk will not be displayed again until next May, when it will be the first installation at the Abbey 1000 Sculpture Exhibition.

Running from May 1 to November 30, 2022, the exhibition will feature a different sculpture each month displayed in the crypt.

Designed by Nigel Kaines and made by blacksmith Kevin Baldwin, from Designs on Metal, the monk statue is made from 2mm thick steel and weighs some 250kg.

Kevin Baldwin, of Designs on Metal, with the monk
Kevin Baldwin, of Designs on Metal, with the monk

It took Kevin six weeks to make, much of it with only a hammer.

A full-size monk’s habit was used as a pattern and the monk’s hands were modelled on Kevin’s, which were then scaled up.

Kevin said: “This is certainly the most unusual project I have worked on. But it means a great deal to me because I am from Bury St Edmunds and generations of my family are from the town and I love its history.”

A competition will run over the weekend of November 19 - 21 on Bury St Edmunds and Beyond’s Instagram channel and Facebook page for the most imaginative photograph with the monk.

Kevin Baldwin, of Designs on Metal (52735353)
Kevin Baldwin, of Designs on Metal (52735353)

The winner will receive a £50 Bury St Edmunds gift card, which can be used in more than 40 different outlets around the town centre.

For the first time, St Edmund’s flag will be flown on top of the Abbey Gate and The Angel Hotel, on Angel Hill, as well as the town’s police station in Raingate Street and The Apex in Charter Square.

St Edmundsbury Cathedral is running a special night with an evening of music, guided mini-tours and mulled wine on November 19 from 6.30pm - 8.30pm.

St Edmunds Day flag
St Edmunds Day flag

Baskerville’s, in Whiting Street, a vegan coffee shop with a secret, hidden cocktail bar, has added a St Edmund’s Crown cocktail ‘fit for a king’ to its menu for St Edmund’s Day weekend.

Bury St Edmunds and Beyond has teamed up with Gifford’s Hall Vineyard in Hartest to win a bottle of their St Edmundsbury wine and a grand tour of their vineyard for two in 2022. Enter between November 15 and December 15 at burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk

On November 20, St Edmund’s Catholic Church will celebrate the feast-day of St Edmund when dignitaries will join the congregation and afterwards enjoy the traditional ‘ale stew’ in the church crypt and an exhibition of artwork.

Baskerville’s, in Whiting Street, a vegan coffee shop with a secret, hidden cocktail bar, has added a St Edmund’s Crown cocktail ‘fit for a king’ to its menu for St Edmund’s Day weekend
Baskerville’s, in Whiting Street, a vegan coffee shop with a secret, hidden cocktail bar, has added a St Edmund’s Crown cocktail ‘fit for a king’ to its menu for St Edmund’s Day weekend

Bury St Edmunds and Beyond has created St Edmund’s Day branded frames for Facebook and a Twibbon for Twitter, which can be downloaded from its website.

Meanwhile, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond is teaming up with the Bury Free Press to offer children a chance to win a West Suffolk Council family heritage pass which gives the whole family free access to West Stow Anglo Saxon Village and Moyse’s Hall Museum for a year.

The town’s great Abbey Church was destroyed in 1539 during the dissolution of the monasteries and the statues that once existed in the archways of the grand 14th century Abbeygate were taken and believed destroyed.

Rebecca Austin with the St Edmund's Day statue drawing activity
Rebecca Austin with the St Edmund's Day statue drawing activity

Now, Bury St Edmunds and Beyond is giving children the chance to draw their very own statues.

You could draw what you think may have been in the archways on the Abbeygate or create some wonderful statues of your own.

It could be a whole new creation, an idea from a TV, film or cartoon, or statues related to Bury’s history.

Entries will be judged on the drawing and imagination used.

To enter, just download the free digital St Edmund’s Day Children’s Pack from the Bury St Edmunds and Beyond website at www.burystedmundsandbeyond.co.uk/st-edmunds-day and draw your own statues where the statues used to be on in the archways of the Abbeygate.

Then send your completed drawing with a completed entry form (also in the pack) to Bury St Edmunds DMO Ltd, 2nd Floor, 2 Woolhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 1LA.

Don’t forget to get a parent or guardian’s permission to enter.

Children 12 and under can enter and there are three age categories 3-5 years old, 6 -9 years old, and 10-13 years old.

The overall winner will receive a family heritage pass ticket for the year. The winner of each age category will receive a £20 Bury St Edmunds Gift Card.

Packs are also available from the Bury Free Press reception, in King’s Road, Bury St Edmunds.

The competition closes on Sunday, November 14, at midnight.

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