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Stars take hats off for charity duo

PUBLISHED: 11:25 18 December 2008 | UPDATED: 12:34 03 July 2010

Hats off to Susan Morse whose charity fundraising idea literally went to her head.

Richard Morse, who owns Morse Opticians in Tan Lane, said his wife Susan suggested contacting celebrities to get them to donate their headgear for an auction in aid of the John Grant School, Caister.

Hats off to Susan Morse whose charity fundraising idea literally went to her head.

Richard Morse, who owns Morse Opticians in Tan Lane, said his wife Susan suggested contacting celebrities to get them to donate their headgear for an auction in aid of the John Grant School, Caister.

The idea arose when she remembered millinery at school, so Mr Morse searched the internet to track down some famous donors and fired off e-mails and letters to over 300 well known luminaries to see if they would be willing to contribute to the auction.

And 12 celebrities responded sending in a diverse and colourful range of headgear including a Bowler hat from actor Stephen Fry and a Henri Lloyd sailing cap from triple gold medal winning Olympic sailing champion Ben Ainslie.

Comedian and West Bromwich Albion fan Frank Skinner contributed a blue and white Santa's hat, while comedian Victoria Wood provided a woolly hat.

Other hats came from BBC Radio Norfolk presenter Roy Waller, BBC East weathergirl Julie Reinger, Sharpe author Bernard Cornwell, Formula One racing driver David Coulthard and snooker player Mark Selby.

Bizarrely, Surrey County Cricket Club decided to contribute a signed bat, but Mr Morse believed the team may have misunderstood the request as 'bat' rather than 'hat.'

Many of the celebrity items came with signed photographs and Mr Morse hoped the gear would fetch hundreds of pounds during the auction which started last Friday during Caister's late night shopping and is due to finish tomorrow with bids being dropped off at the opticians where the hats are on display.

“We thought it would be a nice idea. We thought about decorating hats for the community and we thought we would raise a few pounds with the signed hats,” Mr Morse said.

As well as the celebrity headgear local children have made 50 hats which have been donated for the auction.

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