A club in Daventry for those aged over 60 is going from strength to strength.
The Daventry Darby and Joan Club meets every Friday at the town’s working men’s club, for dancing, tea, bingo, entertainments, and more than a few jokes.
Brian Whitby, 82, is one of the club’s longest serving members. He said: “I joined 16 years ago, but the club goes well back to the war at least. It started off linked to the WRVS but we broke away.
“At that time the WRVS said we were one of the largest Darby and Joans they knew of in England. Over the years we’ve moved around a bit.
“Now we’re at Daventry Working Men’s Club. It’s a good location, with plenty of parking nearby. We also have a DACT bus that will go out and pick people up for a small charge.
“Every week we start off with dancing, which tends to involve square dancing as there’s quite a few more women than men!
“Then there’s tea and biscuits free of charge. There’s often some form of entertainment. And finally it’s bingo. Normally it’s for small prize, but once a month we have cash bingo which is always popular.
“We also have two slap-up dinners a year, usually at Christmas and then at Easter. They’re paid for using the subs from the year.
“It’s the camaraderie that I like. It’s a great leveller being a pensioner; you get former shop floor workers and managers here all mixing on equal terms. It’s a great way to meet new people who live in the area, and people don’t just meet up here. You bump into people in the town, some of the girls go on nights out together.”
Kathleen Day, 78, is in charge of organising the entertainment. She said: “We have something like 85 members now, and regularly get 65 to 75 a week. I organise the entertainment and I try to get a variety in; music, comedy, singers.
“I used to be in show business so I have good connections. It’s a great way to spend the afternoon with your friends.
“If anyone way thinking about whether it was right for them I’d say come along and see what we’re about before you make up your mind.
“We’ll aways welcome people through the door. We’re all really friendly, and you’ll soon find out we have a sense of humour!”
Holidays are also organised for the members.
Betty Guilford is in charge of organising the trips. She said: “We pick locations that are suitable for our members.
“At the moment they’re all Warner Parks so there’s no children there and you don’t have to worry too much.
“Anyone who’s a member can sign up for them, and they can pay so much a week or when they want to make up the cost. They’re great fun for everyone who comes along.”
Mr Whitby said: “The only rules we have are you must be over 60, and you must pay your subs of £1.50 a week every week unless you’re under the doctor or hospitalised!”
The Darby and Joan Club meets every Friday from 2pm at Daventry Working Men’s Club.