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Lady Miriam Hubbard

Joyce Norburn, the wife of the Hospice’s founder Richard, recalls: “My special memory really would be Lady Miriam Hubbard. She was an inspirational figure. We could not have done the first appeal without her. She had influence and knew people. We were all inspired by Lady Miriam Hubbard.”

An important figurehead in the early Hospice story

Lady Miriam Hubbard, the sister of the Duke of Norfolk, was critical to the success of the building appeal for the Hospice’s Hardwick Lane site.

Although initially it had been hoped Turret Close could be renovated and extended to meet the growing needs for Hospice services, this couldn’t be the case.

An appeal for £2.5m to construct a new purpose-built Hospice was launched. Lady Miriam, then chairman of the Hospice and another important figurehead in the early Hospice story, led the appeal.

The appeal for funds was officially launched in June 1991 by television newscaster Martyn Lewis, and well-known in the area, Lady Miriam provided access to significant financial donors through her networks.

Alongside her husband, Commander Peregrine Hubbard, Lady Miriam also opened their home to staff and volunteers, frequently holding much-appreciated social occasions.

“She was a real dynamo”

Former Hospice Chief Executive Officer Bob Jones arrived at St Nic’s in 1993 and remembers Lady Miriam fondly.

He said: “There was the irrepressible Lady Miriam (Hubbard), who had been drafted in from Riding for the Disabled to really boost the appeal for the Hospice. And she was a very eccentric lady. She used to sit out in the main office in a big desk raised from the ground.

“But she was a real dynamo. Not the kind of person I’d ever had to deal with before. So that was a challenge, but a really interesting challenge.

“Lady Miriam was an interesting person to work with. She was not the run-of-the-mill, she was somebody who had a clear vision and knew how to get things done.”

A relentless fundraiser

Lady Miriam worked tirelessly for the Hospice until she died in 1996, aged 71. She’d be at the Hospice almost every day, taking phone calls, signing letters and cheques, and she was a relentless fundraiser.

An extension of the Hospice’s Hardwick Lane site is named after her, and a memorial oak tree was planted in the garden. In her memory, a road on the Moreton Hall estate was called Lady Miriam Way.

The 26th Honorary Freeman of St Edmundsbury

Lady Miriam founded Moreton Hall Preparatory School in 1962 with her husband, Lt Cdr Peregrine Hubbard, and worked with Riding for the Disabled.

She was also chairman of Bury Catholic Women’s League and St Louis Family Service.

In 1995, Lady Miriam was granted the freedom of the Borough of St Edmundsbury. The honour was bestowed on her during a special council meeting in the Athenaeum in Bury St Edmunds. Lady Miriam, then 70, received an illuminated copy of the resolution, making her the 26th Honorary Freeman of St Edmundsbury.

Do you have a story about your connection with St Nicholas Hospice Care?

In our 40th year celebration, we want to highlight the many contributions in our Hospice’s history.

We’re aiming to proudly feature 40 faces across the year, could you be someone who has a story to share?

If you are someone who has a fond memory to share, you can do so here.