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Friends’ group savours new era

Members of Lytham St Annes Friendship Group are presented with an automated bingo calling machine by representatives of Granville Auto Centre, St Annes

Members of Lytham St Annes Friendship Group are presented with an automated bingo calling machine by representatives of Granville Auto Centre, St Annes

A social group is looking forward to an exciting new era after withstanding a double blow.

Shortly before Christmas, the group of around 50 which had been meeting under the banner of Age UK for weekly music hall sessions in St Annes had to find a new venue when The Sandhills pub in The Square suddenly closed.

The management of the nearby Lord Derby pub were quick to offer their venue as an alterative for the group’s festive meal and the weekly social sessions have continued there on Thursday lunchtimes since.

But around the time of the change of venue, the group heard that Age Concern would no longer able to back and fund the sessions because of budget cuts.

The members were determined to carry on and have now become self-sufficient under the title the Lytham St Annes Friendship Group.

Roy Valentine, 81, from St Annes has been a weekly attendee of the sessions since they started three years ago and has been appointed to share the secretary and treasurer duties with fellow stalwart Derek Hallworth, while Patricia Higginbottom, who heads the entertainment bill as Miss Patricia, will be chairman.

“The club means so much to us that we wanted to make sure it carried on,” said Mr Valentine. “The members will pay so much per week and we already have exciting plans to expand the activities, including trips.”

The club has been presented with an automated bingo machine by St Annes business Granville Auto Centre and Mr Valentine added: “We are so grateful to everyone who has helped us out.”

The group meets every Thursday from 12.30pm and new faces are always welcome.

 

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