Club came back from the brink

Forget Me Not Club anniversary lunch at Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse'Pictured are Dorothy Burnett, Dorothy Gillson, mayor Nader Fekri, Janice Fowell, Maureen Hamilton and Marjorie Murley
Forget Me Not Club anniversary lunch at Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse'Pictured are Dorothy Burnett, Dorothy Gillson, mayor Nader Fekri, Janice Fowell, Maureen Hamilton and Marjorie Murley

TWO years ago Waring Green’s Forget-Me-Not Club was close to winding up because of a decline in numbers.

But now it is celebrating its 58th birthday, a thriving membership and being the last senior citizens’ club in Brighouse.

Forget Me Not Club anniversary lunch at Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse'Pictured are Jessie Hyland, Mary Kirby, Peggy Jordan, Kathleen Booth and Winnie Thornton

Forget Me Not Club anniversary lunch at Waring Green Community Centre, Brighouse'Pictured are Jessie Hyland, Mary Kirby, Peggy Jordan, Kathleen Booth and Winnie Thornton

There are around 50 members at the club which meets at Waring Green Community Centre every Wednesday afternoon, which might be a slight decline in the figures from when it first started, but a remarkable achievement for a club that nearly folded.

Chairwoman Janice Fowell said: “Our numbers really went down and it was only because two other clubs closed, Hove Edge 65 Club and Brighouse Good Companion’s, leaving their members with nowhere to go that our numbers went up. Now we are the only senior citizen club left in Brighouse.

“But if we don’t get more helpers then we could still go the same way.”

Mrs Fowell started at the group when she was just 56 years old volunteering as a helper. But after a bit of persuasion from members she took on the role of secretary and finally became chairwoman six years ago.

One of their oldest members is Winifred Thornton at the age of 96. Mrs Thornton has been attending the club for the past 25 years. “I really enjoy attending. We have got plenty of members but it is the money side of it because we need to keep the centre going.”

Marjorie Murley joined the club in 1972. She was chair for 23 years. “We have been very fortunate. We have always been able to meet in Waring Green Community Centre and I think that is what has kept this club going.

“I remember the membership was close to a 100 once but that was when there were many clubs which have since closed and some of the members have joined our club.”

Member Dorothy Burnett said she had grown up with a lot of them.

“It has been a very friendly club, and always cared about it’s members. I think the reason it has been so successful is because there has been a good committee over the years and you need plenty of helpers.”

The party started on a sad note with a minutes silence for John Walton, who died last Wednesday. Birthday greetings were sung for Peggy Jordan, Rita Benson and Margaret Shaw.

Members enjoyed a meal and entertainment provided by Belinda O’Holley.

The Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Nader Fekri, said: “The club is a shinning example of community groups within Calderdale and Brighouse.”