Suffolk gardener and author Peggy Cole's life celebrated

Peggy Cole Image copyright Jamie Niblock
Image caption Peggy Cole opened up her garden at her council house in Charsfield to raise money for charity

Hundreds of people have attended a thanksgiving service for the Suffolk author, gardener and broadcaster Peggy Cole at St Mary's Church in Woodbridge.

She acted in Sir Peter Hall's 1974 film Akenfield about changing rural lives and the garden at her council house in Charsfield was a visitor attraction.

Mrs Cole was also an East Anglian Daily Times columnist and made regular appearances on BBC Radio Suffolk.

She died aged 80 on 8 January after a year-long battle with cancer.

Mrs Cole decided to open her garden to raise funds for charity after she appeared in Akenfield, despite her husband warning her "folks in the village" might think they were "getting a bit high and mighty".

Image copyright East Anglian Daily Times
Image caption Peggy Cole kept one of Princess Margaret's discarded cigarette butts in a matchbox after the princess visited her garden
Image caption There was standing room only at the thanksgiving service in Woodbridge

Her son Ernie said the family "were so proud and astonished by everything she'd achieved and surprised at how many lives she'd touched".

"She would have loved this today - she always did enjoy a good funeral," he added.

The rural dean of Woodbridge Clare Sanders said: "She was a lady who moved with the times, yet remained rooted in Suffolk tradition."

A private funeral has already been held for the family.

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