Royal Ascot veteran to bring racing traditions to Hartlepool

Diane Dahlstrom, centre, in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot
Diane Dahlstrom, centre, in the Royal Enclosure at Ascot

A businesswoman who gets up close to The Queen at Royal Ascot every year is bringing the tradition and flair of the event to Hartlepool.

Diane Dahlstrom is among the elite group of members who can access the Royal Enclosure at Royal Ascot after being sponsored by a fellow member.

Diane Dahlstrom with Mary Portas at Royal Ascot.

Diane Dahlstrom with Mary Portas at Royal Ascot.

She has been a Royal Enclosure member for the last five years, but has attended Royal Ascot for around 20 years.

Diane, 50, and her sister Joanne Woolston, 39, are hosting a race-day fundraiser in Hartlepool in support of Hartlepool & District Hospice, Breast Cancer Awareness and a clinic in India.

The sisters own Sorella Boutique, which has shops in Burn Road, Hartlepool, and in Durham City.

Diane lives in Catcote House, in the West Park area of Hartlepool and will host the event at her home on Saturday, August 1.

She said: “I love everything about Ascot, the racing and the whole occasion.

“There are only so many people that can become a member of the enclosure and you have got to be sponsored by a member.

“You get really close to The Queen and all the celebrities so I see The Queen every year.”

They have previously staged fundraising events for charity and through their fashion shows Diane and Joanne have raised around £8,000 for numerous charities and schools.

Joanne said: “Over the past four years since we’ve opened our Durham store we have raised thousands for Hartlepool hospice by holding fashion shows at various venues such as The Grand Hotel and the Domes.

“As my sister is a member of the royal enclosure at Ascot we’ve decided to host an Ascot-themed garden party where friends, family and customers are coming dressed for their finery for a day at the ‘races’.

“Carl Sweeting and Steven Cockerill are doing the live horse racing, we’ve got a marquee with champagne bar, entertainment, a kids corner and lots of fundraising ideas to raise money for the hospice, Breast Cancer Awareness and a clinic in India.”

Diane added: “We are hoping to raise a few thousand pounds. We have already sold around 80 tickets.”

Tickets cost £12 for adults and £6 for children by calling Diane on 07850 134944.