Outlook 21
News and Views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
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Celebrating Nana Dig Dig
Parish Pump Celebrating Nana Dig Dig ‘What a treat to see the sun after that winter we’ve just had!’ people were saying, and the vivid gold of the daffodils only intensified the brightness of the early Spring sunshine. It was the day for celebrating the life of Peggy Cole MBE, and St Mary’s Church was packed with her family and friends, the media out in force with their cameras and notebooks. ‘How Peggy would have loved a day like this!’ remarked Canon Kate Saunders, who opened the service, which had been largely arranged by Peggy herself. Tributes followed, each relating to a different facet of this feisty woman’s extraordinary life. Canon Roy Tricker, a long-standing friend, spoke of Peggy as a woman of faith, with a warm outgoing nature. ‘She was a great one for hugs’, he remembered. But she was down-to-earth too: ‘It’s not manure’, she would say, ‘it’s muck!’ Warm tribute East Anglian Daily Times editor, Terry Hunt, paid warm tribute to Peggy, the Suffolk woman, recalling how she had never once missed in thirty years to write her popular weekly column for his paper. ‘Suffolk and Proud, like our newspaper,’ he said. And he spoke of her courage in difficult times: ‘No fuss, no drama,’ she would say, ‘Just get on with it!’ Peggy’s son David recounted something of her very full life. Born into a rural household in deepest Suffolk, Peggy went on to mix at all levels of society, to star in Akenfield, entertain Princess Margaret to tea, give lectures, write books and newspaper columns, appear on TV and radio, open her council house garden to the public – and she had relished it all enormously! She used her fame well to raise thousands for charity, and her MBE, awarded by the Queen in 1993, was clearly well deserved. But to her grandchildren, said granddaughter Sarah, this famous, hugely gifted woman who loved her garden, was just their dearest playmate, ‘Nana Dig Dig’. And as we left the church, the organist gave an enthusiastically appropriate rendering of In an English country garden! Mary Hodge