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Good Companions mark 60th anniversary

PUBLISHED: 16:00 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 08:55 13 July 2010

A NORTH Norfolk club for senior citizens has just reached pensionable age.

Good Companions celebrated their club's 60th birthday at North Walsham Community Centre, where they meet weekly to enjoy each other's friendship.

A NORTH Norfolk club for senior citizens has just reached pensionable age.

Good Companions celebrated their club's 60th birthday at North Walsham Community Centre, where they meet weekly to enjoy each other's friendship. Club chiefs believe it is the oldest of its kind in the county.

Members and their guests shared lunch, provided by the town's Cockerel Restaurant, and danced to music from the Den-Barrie Duo.

Club chairman Peggy Fuller was in North Walsham Cottage Hospital after the birth of her eldest daughter on the day the club was launched, in April 1948.

And six decades later that daughter, Avril Pegge, baked and iced the club's 60th birthday cakes.

The organisation, originally called The Old People's Club, was founded shortly after the second world war by town stalwarts Roy Ingham and Eric Harmer.

It came under the umbrella of the Old People's Welfare Association, which developed into Age Concern. The national charity is also celebrating its 60th birthday this year.

In earlier times the club met at the Congregational Hall, on Vicarage Street, now part of the shopping precinct. It later moved into the church rooms, also on Vicarage Street, where the Arden Home Centre is today.

When the community centre opened in the 1970s, the club moved in and at one time had 120 members, with a waiting list of 50.

Today there are 61 members, including 102-year-old Muriel England, who has been attending meetings for about 30 years. As well as board games, bingo and raffles, club members enjoy summer outings.

Mr Harmer's widow Joyce, long-serving North Walsham correspondent for the North Norfolk News, is the club's president but she was not well enough to attend the anniversary celebrations.

Guests included Father David Bagstaff, from the Roman Catholic Church of the Sacred Heart, and the Rev Derek Earis, Vicar of North Walsham.

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