Kersey’s “million year old” puddingstone nearly dug up!

Kersey is a quaint, picturesque village; tucked away in the heart of the Suffolk countryside and with a population of only 350. The Kersey puddingstone is (give or take a few hundred thousand years) more than a million years old, and so far the residents of the Suffolk village have endured its presence without serious injury. In the view of Suffolk council, however, the ancient lump of rock sticking out of the pavement was a dangerous trip hazard. methode%2Ftimes%2Fprod%2Fweb%2Fbin%2F067360c4-8332-11e6-ace0-c9dd128f657f untitled-6448 Water1 Thus, last week, workmen were dispatched to remove a stone that has survived the ice age, the Black Death and two world wars. Armed with pickaxes and a notable ignorance of Suffolk geological history, they would have broken up and removed the stone, which measures about three feet by two, had it not been for the vigilance of a villager, Ray Attridge, who just managed to stop them in time. “If I had arrived home ten minutes later it would have been too late and the stone would have been broken into pieces and lost for ever,” he said. Historians say the puddingstone — so called because it looks like a plum pudding stuffed with fruit — was probably deposited in the Pleistocene age more than a million years ago. Kersey, which dates back to the 13th century, has grown up around it. Mr Attridge, a retired businessman who lives opposite the stone, said: “I arrived home and was opening my front door to go in when I happened to notice a group of three blokes in hi-vis jackets and hard hats. Then I saw they were about to attack the stone with a pickaxe so I went straight across and asked them what they were doing. “They said they had been told to dig it up and remove it because it was a health and safety hazard to people walking along the pavement and that pedestrians might have to step out into the road to get round it. “I couldn’t believe they were serious — I told them to stop and called the chairman of the parish council who immediately called the highways people and got them to leave the stone alone. We get thousands of tourists every year and they all want to take photographs of the ford, the thatched houses, the timbered pub — and the stone.” A spokesman for Suffolk council thanked residents for their vigilance: “While inspecting the area for reported defects and hazards, this stone was identified in error by a member of the highways team,” he said. Source: The Times

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