Derian tea party was a ‘wonderland’ of fun

These fund-raisers were ‘mad as a hatter’ when they braced torrential rain to raise money for Chorley’s Derian House Children’s Hospice.

More than 430 people turned out to Astley Park on Sunday to help smash the world record for the largest ever cream tea.

The Alice in Wonderland themed event had been organised to help mark the 20th anniversary of the Astley Village hospice, which is renowned for its respite and palliative care for children battling life shortening illnesses.

Now, organisers are awaiting official confirmation, but believe they will have made it in to the Guinness World Record Book after breaking the previous record of 403 people.

Susie Poppitt, fund-raising manager at Derian House, said: “We planned everything down to the last detail, but the only thing we couldn’t arrange was the weather and it was absolutely dire.

“The torrential rain started just as we had finished the world record attempt and it didn’t stop until after 6pm.

“The Alice in Wonderland Theatre Company were absolutely brilliant though and they carried on despite the rain.

“Families also got waterproof mats to sit on and their umbrellas out, and I was amazed at how many people stayed to watch despite the awful weather.

“We certainly didn’t let it ruin the day and at the last count there was 434 people at the tea party.

“The volunteers did a great job in serving the teas, scones and jam and we even had people turn out in fancy dress.

“It was a wonderful day for everyone involved and it helped raise vital funds for Derian House, which needs to find £2.9m this year.

“I’d like to thank everyone who helped organise the event, provided sponsorship and took part. It was a great thing to be a part of.”

There will be no let up with the fund-raising this month, with a Starlight Stroll on May 18 and the annual Forget Me Not Ladies Lunch on May 23.

Susie added: “We only receive Government funding for nine weeks a year so we really need people to get involved with the up-coming events.

“The Starlight Stroll is a 10 mile walk and the ladies lunch is always a popular event, with exhibitors showcasing everything from handbags to jewellery and make-up.

“We will also have the lunch and a talk by guest speaker Peter Murray, who will talk on the history of perfume.

“It is always a fantastic event and we still have tables available, but people can also purchase individual tickets.”

For more information about the events, ring 01257 271271 or visit