They’ll be providing a feast of food at the College on Saturday, October 22 – and raising thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK. The record of the Marlborough Cancer Research UK Committee is such that we can be certain of one thing – the event will raise over £10,000.
Anne Deuchar is a key member of the committee and for many years has been organising events such as the Feast of Food and the Gardeners’ Fair which has now morphed into the Spring Fair. This year Claire Wilson, who runs a fitness business in Froxfield, has been enticing the extraordinary variety stall holders to the Feast of Food.
Anne came to this country from northern Australia in 1970 – and has now been “here longer than there.” And she won’t be going back – she’s too fond of the English climate with its varied seasons.
Both Anne’s parents died of cancer and she’s been working for Cancer Research UK for nineteen years. Two-and-a-half years ago, her husband, Alexander died of cancer after a sustained fight and with, she emphasises, wonderful care by the NHS. She firmly believes that research can and will beat cancer.
She has strong roots in the Marlborough area. She lives between the town and Lockeridge. One of her three children lives in Aldbourne, as does her mother-in-law. And her brother-in-law, Andrew Deuchar and his wife have recently moved to the area from the wilds of north-east Scotland.
With various schemes and the big spring and autumn fairs at the College, the committee has raised more than £600,000 over the last twenty-five years – a great boost for research. Anne gives so much time to Cancer Research UK because she knows that eighty pence in every pound they raise goes directly to research programmes – an efficiency not achieved by many other charities.
“There’s a very small chain between us raising money and them spending the money on research.” The national charity funds some of the most successful research centres and strong links with the global cancer research community.
The Marlborough Gardeners’ Fair raised over £65,000 during the ten years it was held in the town hall. But it outgrew the town hall and has become the larger and more broadly based Spring Fair held at the college – “a celebration of spring and summer living”.
The college hire out parts of their buildings to the committee at charity rates. Anne is most appreciative of the help from college staff: “A huge amount of credit for our success goes to the college.”
Anne stresses that “We’re not all upmarket food and drink – we’ve everything related to food and drink for all tastes – including flowers and tablecloths.” This October’s Feast of Food will feature an enormous range of exhibitors: from the Ramsbury Brewery to Dutch natural liquorice; from specialist teas to cupcakes; from real bread to kitchen utensils; from gourmet smoked salmon to fudge – over sixty trade stands.
A great opportunity, Anne says, for some early Christmas shopping. And there’s free parking and a café too.
Under its chair Pat Thompson, the twenty-five strong Marlborough committee raises money in many ways. One of the committee’s great supporters, Pat Cutforth, takes a “small is bountiful” route to fund-raising.
She’s a well-known miniaturist and expert on dolls houses and ran the Dolls House Fair in the town hall for ten years – raising over £100,000 for Cancer Research UK. Now she raises £15,000 or more a year with her own sales and exhibiting at the Miniatura Fair in Birmingham.
Anne is also in charge of the Marlborough committee’s website – and teaches computing skills at the Marlborough College Summer School. You can contact the committee via their website: www.marlboroughcancerresearch.org – and you can donate.