50 years of fun - but now club is to close

PUBLISHED: 11:27 23 January 2008 | UPDATED: 21:18 26 October 2009

‘Out with a bang not a whimper’:    Members of the Handside Neighbours’ Club including, at the front, Renee Meiklejohn, Rosemary Mitchell, Brian Mitchell and Helga Lomas

'Out with a bang not a whimper': Members of the Handside Neighbours' Club including, at the front, Renee Meiklejohn, Rosemary Mitchell, Brian Mitchell and Helga Lomas

IT S the end of an era for one club where members have been meeting every week for the past 50 years. Handside Neighbours Club, in WGC, will hold its last session on Friday, prior to its 50th anniversary celebrations on February 15. Unfortunately secre

IT'S the end of an era for one club where members have been meeting every week for the past 50 years.

Handside Neighbours' Club, in WGC, will hold its last session on Friday, prior to its 50th anniversary celebrations on February 15.

Unfortunately secretary and chairman of the club Rosemary and Brian Mitchell have had to close the club due to members' advancing years.

Rosemary who took over running the club after husband Brian became ill has been at the club, held at the Backhouse Rooms in Handside Lane, for 34 years.

The 79-year-old said: "Fifty years I feel is a great achievement for such a small club which has met on a weekly basis for such a long time.

"We're closing because of the age factor - a lot of people here are in their 90s.

"I feel very sorry about it closing; I have made many friends and hopefully given them something to look forward to because we had a lot of laughter, which is the most important thing."

Members of the club met up to discuss thoughts on issues in the area, enjoyed quizzes, afternoon suppers, outings to places such as Cambridge and Brighton and a variety of speakers, and all for the price of 50p a session.

Emily Brook is one of the 26 remaining members and has been for seven years. She is sad about the closure.

The 92-year-old said: "There will be nowhere for us to go and you look forward to going out.

"Rosemary has done a great deal of work here. I can't speak highly enough of her."

Another member is 90-year old Renee Meiklejohn.

She has been a member since the 1970s.

"It's a shame. We've tried to keep it going but it hasn't succeeded and that's probably because everyone is getting older," she said.

A buffet lunch will be provided for the last meeting which, everyone is agreed, is sure to be a sad one.

Rosemary added: "I shall miss all our members, but thank them all for the fun and support they have given.

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