Hats off to the Buckingham ladies’ charity race day

Buckingham Ladies Charity Race Day. The ladies outside The Three Cups.'130620M-B130
Buckingham Ladies Charity Race Day. The ladies outside The Three Cups.'130620M-B130

A group of local women brought Ascot glamour to Buckingham on Thursday with their own version of Ladies’ Day.

Fifteen women who normally attend Ladies’ Day at Ascot decided this year to celebrate the event locally and raise money for Florence Nightingale Hospice, after suffering two bereavements in the last year.

Ladies’ Day regular Elaine Simpson, aged 58, died from cancer in October.

Sally Wells, who joined the Ascot trip last summer with her mum Christine Thorne, died suddenly in September, after being diagnosed with a severe potassium deficiency.

Buckingham resident Nikki Power organised the Buckingham Ladies’ Charity Race Day, beginning with a Bucks Fizz breakfast at the Three Cups, moving on to Pimm’s at Villiers, a buffet lunch at the Woolpack and ending with races at the New Inn.

She told the Advertiser: “This is Buckingham Ladies’ Day and the word ‘lady’ really sums Elaine up.

“She was a true lady.

“We went through breast cancer together and she was a fantastic support to me.

“She was my inspiration.”

The ladies are fundraising for the hospice in Aylesbury, where Mrs Simpson was cared for in her last days.

Shelly Blackburn, aged 47, who is engaged to Mrs Simpson’s son, John, said: “They were absolutely amazing. It was so dignified. Nothing was too much trouble. You couldn’t fault them.”

Miss Blackburn was wearing the hat her future mother-in-law used to wear to Ascot.

She said: “She wasn’t my blood mother but I still adored her. I lost my mum three and a half years ago, and Elaine was so good to me.

“She said to me: ‘Never forget you’ve still got a mum.’

“I couldn’t have asked for a better mother-in-law.

“And I think it speaks volumes that so many things are being done to thank the men and women who looked after her – she was thought of so highly and loved so much.”