Feature: Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies near 40th anniversary

Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies make one of their first donations. EMN-140916-134635001

Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies make one of their first donations. EMN-140916-134635001

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For nearly 40 years the Burghley Park and Peterborough Ladies have held events to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

And the total amount they have raised has now reached £800,000.

The club was first set up in October 1974, when a group of women got together to raise money for what was then called the Cancer Research Campaign.

Their first raffle raised £250, which was a lot in the 1970s. And in their first year they raised £1,000.

The group continued to meet, holding luncheons and coffee mornings. In their first year, they had 61 members and their first president was the sixth Marchioness of Exeter.

Lady Victoria Leatham took over for 25 years and now her daughter, Miranda Rock has taken over the role.

The Ladies have always had a base at their president’s home, Burghley House.

Club chairman Annette Beeton, a guide at Burghley, said: “It is an incredible house and we have been lucky to have had the Marchioness as the president.”

All the money that is raised through the club goes to the Cancer Research unit based at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge. It is the largest unit in Europe. Last year, the group bought £70,000 worth of equipment for the unit. And this year, the money raised will be going towards the research on blood related treatment for each individual cancer.

Mrs Beeton, 72, has been a nurse since 1960. She said: “Treatment for cancer has come such a long way since I first started nursing. Back then, most people diagnosed with cancer died.

“I had to nurse three children with leukaemia to their deaths. It was the hardest thing I have ever done.

“It is also the reason why I joined this group, in 1983, and have supported it for so long.”

Over the years, the group alongside Burghley House has enjoyed great success. The Ladies efforts have even been recognised by the Queen, who invited them to her garden party on her Diamond Jubilee.

In 2010, the Ladies reached the £700,000 milestone and to mark the occasion, they had a commemorative plaque made and put up at the Cancer Research Unit in Cambridge.

To celebrate their 40th anniversary and for reaching £800,000 milestone, the group will be holding a series of special events. The first one will be a concert in the great hall at Burghley House, on Saturday, September 27. Spectators will be able to see the Gentleman of St John’s College, Cambridge, perform. For more information, call 01733 232521.