Find out what women in their 50s to 90s have been getting up for the last 20 years

A longstanding South Tyneside ladies club is celebrating 20 years of bringing women in the community together.

Saturday, 21st September 2019, 08:00 am
Updated Saturday, 21st September 2019, 08:05 am
St Joseph's Community Hall Thursday Afternoon Ladies Club 20th anniversary

The Afternoon Ladies Club of Hedworth, Jarrow has become a key part of the local community since it was first established in 1999.

The club has been meeting at St Joseph's Community Hall, once a week on a Thursday afternoon for the last two decades, with countless cups of tea and biscuits, games of bingo and Christmas parties held over the years.

Set up by four local ladies, Betty Price, Audrey Baker, Joyce Kassell and Margaret Pratt, who sadly passed away, the club grew to have more than 40 women attending at one point.

There are now around 25 members, from the youngest in her late 50s to the oldest at the age of 96, with several now in their 80s.

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“It was to create that sense of community, to get people to come together,” remembered Betty Price.

“I happened to retire and a couple of ladies were talking about setting up a bereavement club, but it never really took off so we decided to have a ladies afternoon club instead.

“We started off with about five of us but it grew week by week. There’s now four of us who have been there since the beginning.”

The Greenlands resident continued: “I never expected we would reach 20 years, but the ladies seem to like coming and meeting up with each other. It’s a get together for people.

“For some of them, it’s their only chance to get out, so it’s a big part of their lives.

“One lady said to me just last week how much she loves her club.”

Now in her 80s herself, Betty does most of the organising on her own, but isn’t ready to give up on her ladies any time soon.

“I sometimes wonder if I’m getting too old for it,” she added.

“I’ll say to my family, ‘I’m doing this for the ladies’ but I forget that I am 80 now.

“I’m pretty active though, so hopefully I can do a few more years yet.”