People in Ashwell celebrated 'Wear A Hat Day' for an entire week to support the many village residents who have been affected by brain tumours.

Ashwell has been supporting the charity Brain Tumour Research after a number of villagers died from brain cancer and others were diagnosed with brain tumours.

Wear A Hat Day officially took place on Friday, March 31, while activities in Ashwell took place all week.

Pilates groups in the village sported hats during their classes, while anyone shopping in Crumps Butchers was welcomed by Brain Tumour Research bunting and staff wearing strange hats.

Dr Bridget Long, who attends a village Pilates class, lost her son Pat to a glioblastoma four years ago.

Royston Crow: Pat Long, who died of a brain tumour in 2018, with his mum Bridget LongPat Long, who died of a brain tumour in 2018, with his mum Bridget Long (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

She now uses Wear A Hat Day to raise awareness of the disease and to fundraise by selling the charity's themed pin badges.

Bridget said: "There are times when we’re upside down and the hats do tend to fall off but everyone’s been willing to get involved, which is great.

Pat, a journalist who worked for The Times, was diagnosed with two brain tumours wrapped around his optic nerve after suffering a seizure in 2012.

He underwent multiple surgeries and experimental treatment, but died in 2018 at the age of 42.

"My son lasted six years from diagnosis, which is perhaps more than the average but is still cruel for such a young person," Bridget said.

"He never even had the chance for a family."

Two other women in Bridget's Pilates class also have connections to brain tumours.

The son of one of the women was diagnosed with a low-grade tumour at around the same time as Pat, but has now developed brain cancer.

Royston Crow: Pilates members wearing hats to support Brain Tumour ResearchPilates members wearing hats to support Brain Tumour Research (Image: Brain Tumour Research)

Crumps Butchers has been supporting the fundraiser following tragedies within its owners' families.

Jonathan Crump and his wife Paula both lost older brothers to brain tumours, while Paula's younger sister is now undergoing treatment for the disease. One of their shop workers also has a connection to the cause.

Speaking ahead of the week, Jonathan said: "When your family come into contact with something like this you feel passionate about supporting it, especially if you’ve lost loved ones to it.

"We at the shop will all be wearing different hats, with bowler hats, sun hats and sombreros among those likely to make an appearance."

Bridget added: "There have been many brain cancer deaths in the village. Maybe I’m more aware of them, but it does show that it’s not a rare disease.


"It’s also one that’s very underfunded, under-researched and for which the survival rate hasn’t improved in years."

The theme of this year's Wear A Hat Day is to 'look super for science'.

Charlie Allesbrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research, said that one in three people know someone affected by a brain tumour.

He said: "We’re really grateful to Bridget, Jonathan and everyone in Ashwell for their continued support of the work we do." 

To donate to Brain Tumour Research go to, or to support Bridget's fundraising go to