Husband vows to carry on late wife’s charity work

The husband and family of a fundraiser who worked tirelessly to raise thousands of pounds for charity are set to continue her legacy.

Miranda Stratton from Woodbastwick near Norwich, known as Mandy to her army of friends, died aged 77 in March this year.

Over the past quarter of a century she helped raise more than �400,000 for the Camphill East Anglian Community at Thornage Hall in north Norfolk, by masterminding highly successful Christmas bazaars.

Now her husband Mark, 80, has said he is determined to continue his wife's good work by organising another bazaar this year at Barnham Broom Golf Club, on Tuesday, November 23 from 9.30am - 3pm, with an evening reception on Monday, November 22 from 6pm -9pm.

It was the birth of Miranda and Mark's first son, James, 47, with Down's Syndrome in 1963 which ignited her passion for fundraising and brought about the annual charity bazaar, now in its 26th year, to raise funds for Camphill Communities East Anglia, which funds Thornage Hall, Holt, where James became a resident.

The hall provides a meaningful residential and working environment for its adult members who have special needs.

There are 21 tenants and 20 staff who all play a role in the running of a biodynamic farm and market garden, which aims to be self-sufficient.

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They produce vegetables, fruit and meat and have their own bakery and a weavery where they make mats, napkins, scarves, rugs and cloth, all of which are on sale to the local community, and a selection of which will be available to purchase at the bazaar.

Mrs Stratton's fundraising began with a humble coffee morning in a village hall, and has now grown to the Christmas bazaar which attracts stallholders from across the country.

Stalls include luxury cashmere, silk flower arrangements, beadwork, artisan chocolates and ceramics.

Mr Stratton said: 'This all started from a single coffee morning, and because of my son James. It is a great achievement and it has been wonderful over the years for Miranda and I to be able to give something back to the trust which has created such a wonderful home for James.

'I would very much like to continue with the bazaars as I know Camphill rely very much on people fundraising.'

Mrs Stratton, who was appointed an MBE in 2008 for her charity work, became famous for her theatrical photography when she took over from Lord Snowdon then Anthony Armstrong Jones, at David Sim's studio in the 1960s. Her list of clients included Dame Margot Fonteyn and Maria Callas. She was also appointed to oversee the refurbishment during Norwich Theatre Royal's last major reconstruction,

David Gurney, chairman of the trustees of Camphill Communities East Anglia, said: 'Miranda was a remarkable lady. We were fortunate to have her working on our behalf. It is a real tribute that Mark and her friends are determined to acknowledge all her hard work by continuing the strong fundraising tradition of the Christmas bazaar.'

Admission to the evening reception is by pre-paid ticket only. Tickets are �12.50 each (cheques payable to Camphill Communities East Anglia) and can be obtained by contacting Jane Colman, Manor House, Arminghall Lane, Arminghall, Norwich, NR14 8SG.

There is a �5 entrance fee for the bazaar on Tuesday, payable on the door.