BLASTS from her late father’s past made Saturday’s (NOV 28) Christmas Craft Fair and Coffee Morning all the more poignant for Sarah Standing.

The Cricklade woman is behind a year of fundraising opportunities dedicated to dad Wallace, who died after a heart attack at the age of 55 in 1996.

The weekend’s craft fair at StoweAway Community Centre in East Wichel was the second in a series of events entitled Be Involved – A Year of Opportunities supporting the British Heart Foundation.

An overwhelming number of people attended, including many neighbours and friends of Wallace’s who Sarah had not seen in more than 20 years, providing a keen reminder of her dad’s impression on people.

“There are people walking in who used to work with him, old neighbours too, people I haven’t seen for 20 years, that’s when it’s been emotional,” she said.

“There have been a few tears between me and my mum.”

The year of events, which began with a 40-mile walk along the Ridgeway, and will continue with a barn dance, quiz night and 60-mile cycle ride, will mark the 20th anniversary of the ambulance driver’s death.

The overall fundraising target is £2,500, but with £2,000 already pulled in off the back of the Ridgeway walk, that figure will be beaten.

“Wallace was a fantastic man taken way too early,” said Laura Illsley, a friend of Sarah’s for more than 30 years.

“There are some moments when it becomes difficult and emotional, but we try to focus on what we are dedicating to his memory and remembering how proud he would be.”

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