A group of Darwen fundraisers have celebrated a glittering occasion.

Cancer Research UK’s local committee marked its diamond anniversary with an afternoon tea party at the Masonic Hall, Darwen, and president Marion Walsh, a volunteer for 51 years, cut the celebration cake.

It was a chance for members to hear about some of the work carried out by CRUK, advances over the 60 years and recent developments from speaker Claire Dickinson, the senior cancer nurse at Christie Hospital, Manchester,

who herself is funded by Cancer Research UK.

Darwen chairman Linda Chatburn paid tribute to the support received from individuals, businesses and organisations in the town through the years. She said without their unstinting and generous support the group could

not have raised more than £800,000 since its formation.

During the event, Linda and member Vera Fitzgerald both received long service badges for 40 years’ volunteering.

The group was formed in 1959 at the suggestion of Darwen Rotary Club member and local councillor David Davidson, supported by the mayor at the time, Coun Maud Broughton, who was its first chairman. This year’s Rotary president, Julia O’Hara represented the club at the event.

The event was sponsored and representatives of the sponsors along with the town’s mayor Councillor Lillian Salton, local fundraising manager Vikki Bassek and the senior volunteer fundraising manager for the north of

England and Scotland Jenny Murgatroyd were there.