Shropshire Star

Son continues his parents' fundraising legacy as snowdrop walk raises £6k for charity

A 25-year long labour of love to create a magnificent carpet of snowdrops has helped smash another fundraising record for cancer patients – in memory of a charity's longtime supporter.

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Anna Williams from Lingen Davies, George Whitaker, Charles Whitaker, Amanda Stretton, the High Sheriff of Shropshire Mandy Thorn, Mark Thorn - and Betty, Bruno and Bertie. Picture: Andy Carr photography

The late owners of Winsley Hall in Westbury, Mr and Mrs Wolstan Whitaker, planted thousands of snowdrop bulbs over a 25-year period in the grounds of their home.

Their son Charles kindly agreed to host the annual Lingen Davies Cancer Fund Snowdrop walk again last weekend in memory of his mother June Whitaker who passed away from cancer in August last year.

Members of the Whitaker family, friends of June’s, and hundreds of supporters enjoyed the seasonal spread and walk around the estate on Saturday and Sunday, raising a phenomenal £6,100 while they were at it.

It means the event has raised more than £25,000 over the years.

Mr Whitaker said he was absolutely delighted he could continue the legacy established by his late mother and father and pledged to ensure the beautiful display would be open to Lingen Davies supporters for years to come.

He said: “My mother and father did a tremendous amount for charity. Someone once said to me they didn’t think there was another single person alive or passed who has raised more money for the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital than my mother.

"That’s quite a statement - and having thought about it, I don’t know if there is. I grew up as a small boy having a continuous run of events for worthy charities at home, there was always something going on.

"When my daughter Isabella was little she was encouraged to fundraise for Lingen Davies and her first donation was £27 worth of coppers – at the time more than she could lift.

“During mother and father’s lifetime they planted millions of snowdrops over the course of nearly three decades using just a shovel and their hands, all the way up the drive and into the woods. Of all the charitable activities they undertook this event – opening their home for others to enjoy their work – was probably their most favourite.

“Over the years the snowdrops have spread and what they created is this wonderful carpet of snowdrops. So it’s very special to me personally and the family to be able to host this again, and we’re very eager to take this legacy forward and support Lingen Davies.

“Mother didn’t want a memorial when she passed away so we decided to use this weekend as a fitting tribute and various family and friends were able to join us which was fabulous."

Helen Knight, head of fundraising for Lingen Davies, said the time and dedication given to the charity by the Whitaker family is very much appreciated.

She said: “We are so grateful to the family for continuing to host this popular event for us, we know it means a lot to many of our supporters to be able to come to this beautiful place and enjoy a walk with loved ones.

“I’d like to say a tremendous thank you to the Whitaker family and everyone who attended the event. It’s never easy holding outdoor events in February but we were blessed with some great weather and to have raised £6,100 is just brilliant.”

The money will go towards the work of the charity supporting people impacted by cancer and raising awareness about the signs and symptoms of cancer in the wider community.

For more information on the work of Lingen Davies Cancer Fund visit