Walkers do their bit for cancer charity at Fritton Lake

It was the perfect day for a stroll or brisk walk at one of the most scenic parts of the Norfolk countryside.

But while the sun was welcome yesterday the warm conditions at Fritton Lake, near Great Yarmouth were not the reason why more than 250 people flocked to the attraction for a walk.

For the scenes of families, ramblers and dogs walking six miles around Fritton Lake on the Somerleyton Estate were emotional tributes to loved ones who have succumbed to or are battling cancer.

Yesterday the Big C cancer charity held its annual fund-raising Walk of Thoughts at the popular attraction.

At least �2,000 was raised from the walk and the money will be used by Big C to fund cancer screening equipment, research and help and advice to cancer patients in Norfolk and Waveney.

For many people on the walk the work of Big C had inspired to them take part - as well as memories of loved ones lost to the disease.

It was a day of mixed emotions for sisters Ruth Green, from Alpington, near Norwich, and Linda McKinnon of Plumstead Road, Norwich, as their father William Thompson and brother John Thompson had both died from cancer.

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The sisters were joined by their families as they strolled around Fritton Lake's lush grounds.

They said their father and brother would very much be in their thoughts and the memory of them would spur them on as the sunshine beat down.

Keith Kingston, 67, and his wife Linda, 61, from Thurlton, near Loddon, had lost two close relatives to cancer and were only too happy to set aside a couple of hours to go on their six mile walk to help other cancer sufferers.

Mr Kingston, who also lost his ex-wife to cancer, said: 'We both enjoy walking and thought it would be a great way of raising money for such a good cause.'

The Kingstons were joined by Martin and Marina Ball from the Thurlton Ramblers. Mr Ball, 63, said: 'Everyone knows someone who has had cancer. Big C is a very good cause. We did this walk last year, but we are now a year older so it may take us a bit longer.'

Yesterday's walk was also a chance for people who have overcome cancer to thank Big C for its support.

Sue Thurling, 49, from Ryedale, Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago and had benefited from the charity's support. Mrs Thurling was joined on the walk by her husband Paul, 47, sons Alex, 18, and Matthew, 14, their dog Mollie and family friend Bernice Harrison and her son Jake, from Thurlton.

She said: 'The Big C was absolutely fantastic and provided so much help and good advice. It is nice that we can help re-pay it in some way.'

Cherry Kimmance, 75 was a volunteer for Saturday's walk but also took part as her husband Leonard, 83, has cancer of the pancreas and oesophagus. Mrs Kimmance, from Upper Grange, Beccles, took her one-year-old Chihuahua Barney on her stroll and her husband was with them at the starting line.

She said: 'When someone is diagnosed with cancer there is so much information to take it and there are so many thoughts going through your mind.

'The Big C information centre at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital is like an oasis of peace. It has provided wonderful help.'

Jessica Bygrave, Big C indivudual giving manager, said: 'We have expected 150 people to take part, but more than 250 turned up on the day. That is incredible, absolutely incredible. Everyone I have spoken too said they enjoyed it - and the weather.'

For information on Big C visit www.big-c.co.uk

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