Peterborough coffee mornings through the decades raise £20,000 for Macmillan Cancer Research

The 50's : From left - Donna Nolan, Donna McKean Smith, Katie, Debbie, Lindsay, Gemma and Laura
The 50's : From left - Donna Nolan, Donna McKean Smith, Katie, Debbie, Lindsay, Gemma and Laura
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From rock and roll to the Spice Girls, few kitchens across the UK will compare with the retro coffee mornings organised by a long-standing group of friends who have so far raised more than £20,000.

Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning returns on Friday next week, and for the sixth year in a row the ‘Eye Lovelies’ will be having a blast from the past in order to raise thousands of pounds for a charity close to their hearts.

The 60s coffee morning

The 60s coffee morning

The group of seven, who mostly attended Eye Primary School before moving on to Arthur Mellows Village College, have been celebrating each decade from the 40s to the 80s at the Eye Community Centre, and such is their determination to enjoy every last drop of their fun-filled event they are even hosting an after-party which this year will feature 90s’ nostalgia.

Gemma Rorison, who lives in Chancery Lane, Eye, is one of the ‘Lovelies’. She said: “We used to do the Macmillan ‘Big Night In’ where you have your friends round, you cook a meal and they pay.

“We just started brainstorming about doing a coffee morning as my husband had just lost his cousin to cancer.

“We said ‘let’s have a go and see how it goes’. We started as a little coffee morning and it snowballed, and we started doing it in the village hall.”

The first coffee morning was made even more poignant as one of the group, Laura Sulsh, had lost her partner Jonathan Norris, of Pioneer Caravans in Eye, to cancer three weeks before the event.

Gemma recalled: “We were going to cancel it, but she said ‘go on and do it’ and it raised £2,000. Every year since, we have decided to do it and have made it better and better.”

The other members of the group are: Donna Nolan, Donna McKean Smith, Debbie Moss, Katie Roddis and Lindsay Short. Themes so far have included disco (70s), neon (80s) and rock and roll (50s), and this year the theme for the 90s is grunge (‘think Nirvana and Doc Martens’, said Gemma) while the Spice Girls may also make an appearance.

The coffee morning from 9.30am to 2.30pm will feature a raffle where items include a signed Liverpool shirt, a Hotpoint microwave and a family ticket to see Peterborough United. The after-party from 8.30pm to 11.30pm is £5 entry, but includes a prize draw to win a bottle of champagne.

Gemma added: “We are really pleased with the amount we’ve raised. We’ve had an awful lot of support from people who have been very, very generous. Macmillan have helped our families so we are quite close to the charity.”

For more details on the events, visit: https://www.facebook.com/eyelovelies/.

Meanwhile, a Macmillan coffee morning is being held at Dogsthorpe Fire Station a week tomorrow from 10.30am to 12.30pm. To find your nearest coffee morning, visit: https://coffee.macmillan.org.uk/about/search/.