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Colyton airs laundry in support of washing line mum

Washing hung outside
Image caption People have hung their own washing outside in support of Claire Mountjoy

A town is “festooned with pants, socks and pyjamas” after residents came out in support of a mum who received an anonymous letter about her laundry.

Pants are flying from flagpoles in Colyton, Devon, after Claire Mountjoy received a note asking her not to air her washing outdoors.

The letter urged her to keep Colyton “a town we can all be proud of”.

She said it was “lovely” more than a dozen homes and shops were now hanging their laundry outside in support.

More on this story and others from Devon

Image caption Claire Mountjoy said Colyton “has a tradition of being slightly rebellious”

The anonymous letter was written “on behalf of local business” and asked Ms Mountjoy “with kindness” not to put washing out at the front of her terraced house, which is in “a prime location”.

It said: “While we understand you have a small house with no outside room for your boys, would you please consider using a tumble dryer or hanging the washing indoors.

“This letter is not written with malice but we ask you to please help us all keep Colyton a town we can all be proud of.”

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Image caption Knickers in a twist: Colyton parades its underwear in public

Ms Mountjoy, an education officer for Devon Wildlife Trust, said: “Colyton has a tradition of being slightly rebellious and I think that has been shown.

“I’ve seen pants flying from flagpoles and the town was festooned with pants and socks and pyjamas.”

According to local historians, Colyton became known as the “most rebellious town in Devon” during the Monmouth Rebellion as more citizens from the town joined the Protestant rebellion against James II in 1685 than from any other in the county.

The sender of the letter remains a mystery, but Ms Mountjoy said people had told her they would like to see the laundry airing made an annual event.

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