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Ipstones Luncheon Club celebrates its 19th birthday

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: May 03, 2014

By Leslie Jackson

Cutting the birthday cake is the club's oldest club member Sylvia Ward, who is pictured with volunteer Gwen Richardson.

Cutting the birthday cake is the club's oldest club member Sylvia Ward, who is pictured with volunteer Gwen Richardson.

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IT WAS the year that scientists cloned Dolly the sheep, Cliff Richard was knighted, parties were held across Britain to celebrate the 50th anniversary of VE Day, and petrol cost just 50p a litre.

And 19 years ago, on April 26, 1995, Ipstones Luncheon Club was formed.

Nearly two decades on, older people from Ipstones, Foxt and Whiston are still gathering each Wednesday in Ipstones Memorial Hall for their weekly luncheon club, run by Moorlands Home Link.

It was party time last Wednesday when oldest member Sylvia Ward, aged 94, cut the celebration cake at the club's 19th birthday party and members were entertained by the Cheadle U3A Ukulele Group.

Two of the volunteers who helped set the Luncheon Club up – Gwen Richardson and Beryl Stew – were on hand to make sure the party went with a swing.

And now members have a calendar of events including trips out to Trentham Gardens and The Winking Man pub this summer, and lunches at the Alton Towers Hotel and Denstone Hall Farm Shop's restaurant in the autumn, to look forward to.

The club has been running long enough to see some volunteer helpers, including Dorothy Williamson, switch sides and become members.

Dorothy, aged 84, said: "I started out as a helper when I was in my 60s and my late husband, Barry, used to call out the bingo numbers.

"Now I am on my own, it's great to be able to come here each week to enjoy a dinner and a gossip, and I think clubs like ours are great for preventing loneliness."

Marion Sale, aged 87, agreed: "I've been coming all 19 years since the club was set up because I was widowed at 56 and I have no family.

"I missed last week's club because of a visit to the dentist and I just couldn't wait to get here today.

"We are looked after very well and Gwen Richardson, the main organiser, is always happy to fetch us a daily paper and any shopping we need while we are here."

The club is holding a bring and buy sale and coffee morning at the Ipstones Memorial Hall on Wednesday, May 7, at 11am.

New members are always welcome and are invited to drop in and see what's on offer between 11am and noon.

Alternatively, call Moorlands Home Link's Rural Support Officer Steph Chadwick on 07950 243345 or the Home Link office on 01538 750511.

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