Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Landmark is turned pink for charity run

A MEDIEVAL landmark was transformed into a glowing pink beacon in a bid to promote a charity race.

An eerie fuchsia glow radiated from the stony structure of Cartmel’s iconic priory after organisers of Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life descended on South Cumbria.

The stunt took place as evening fell over the village on Wednesday to drum up support for the fundraising ladies-only race, which will be held at Cartmel racecourse for the first time on July 1.

The charity was forced to cancel separate events in Barrow and Kendal last year due to dwindling numbers and opted to merge the two to create an event on middle ground for the south of the county.

Guest of honour at the 12th century church’s light-up was dedicated Race for Life competitor Lesley Flynn, 38, who has taken part in the Barrow event every year since losing her mum to cancer.

Pat Flynn was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2007 and made a good recovery after a course of chemotherapy.

But two years later, she discovered the disease had returned and spread. She died aged 61 in November 2009.

Miss Flynn, of Fell Close, Grange, said: “Mum was doing really well after she finished her initial treatment, so for her to suddenly become ill again, and then to lose her just weeks later, was incredibly hard. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of her.

“I can never bring my mum back but Race for Life is something I can do to keep her memory going. It’s such a brilliant atmosphere. You read the signs on women’s backs, some make you laugh, some make you cry, it’s really emotional.”

Cartmel Priory is only the second building in the UK to be turned pink by Cancer Research UK. Earlier this month, Towneley Hall in Burnley was bathed in a sea of pink light.

The Reverend Nick Devenish, vicar at the Priory Church of St Mary and St Michael, said: “We’ve got eight centuries of history here and I imagine there is not a lot the priory has not seen, heard or done.

“However, I don’t think it has ever been turned pink before. It is nice to be part of something that is a first for the priory, especially when it is to support such a fantastic cause.”

So far, 150 women have signed up to take part in this year’s Race for Life.

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