She was a diamond lady in life and in death her sparkling jewellery will be helping to maintain her much-loved West Norfolk church.
A collection of sparkling gems belonging to the ballroom dancing legend, Peggy Spencer MBE, will be on sale during a Christmas fair being hosted by the St Faith’s Church, Gaywood, this weekend.
The jewels, necklace chains, strings of pearls and brooches, have been donated by Peggy’s daughter, Helena Anderson, with all proceeds going to the church.
Helena said her mother, who died in May 2016, aged 95, had a fond affection for St Faith’s Church where her funeral was held.
Shortly before her death, Peggy had been invited to perform the official opening at St Faith’s Spring Fair.
Helena said: “My mother really enjoyed opening the Spring Fair and she after the opening spent time chatting to people and signing autographs.
“She often spoke of what a happy time it was for her. She was always very much a people person.”
Peggy was known to millions through her appearances on the BBC show Come Dancing, the forerunner of today’s Strictly Come Dancing, over nearly 50 years.
She taught Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco to dance, performed before the Queen and choreographed a dance sequence for The Beatles.
She was also a subject of the long-running series This Is Your Life.
Helena has spent months sorting through her mother’s extensive collection of ballroom dancing memorabilia and felt that, because of her fondness for the church, she would have wanted her jewellery to be sold to help its work.
The collection of memorabilia is being donated to the Bishopgate Institute in London, where it will be made available to the public for research purposes.
The jewels on sale at the fair are costume items rather than highly expensive pieces.
Helena said: “I feel that it is more the association of the pieces with Peggy that is their value and people at the Fair will be able to purchase a necklace or a brooch as a souvenir of Peggy and her long life in the world of ballroom dancing.”
Anne Ess, chair of the St Faith’s fundraising group, said: “We much appreciate Helena’s kind gesture and hope that it will attract people to come along to the Christmas Fair and take home a lovely souvenir of the dancing legend Peggy Spencer.”
The fair, which will be opened by borough mayor Carol Bower, takes place this Saturday, from 2pm, at the Gaywood Churchrooms.
There will also be a variety of stalls and sideshows and an early visit by Father Christmas. Admission is free.