Long-established ladies group hold their final meeting

The Oulton Ladies Group disbands

The Oulton Ladies Group met for a final time at The Olive Tree Coffee House in Carlton Colville on May 4 for afternoon tea. - Credit: Mick Howes

It has been a popular, long-established ladies group that was formed 55 years ago.

But having held hundreds of meetings, hosted scores of speakers and taken part in numerous activities and events, a group from a coastal community has met for the final time. 

Since 1967 the Oulton Ladies Group has held regular monthly meetings - with talks on a variety of subjects, crafts, slideshows, social evenings, meals out, day trips away, table top sales and events all held throughout the year.

But having not held any meetings for almost two years due to the continuing coronavirus crisis, and with membership dwindling, the group based in Lowestoft has decided not to carry on.

Marking the end of an era this week, a final get together was held for members of the Oulton Ladies Group as they met at The Olive Tree Coffee House in Carlton Colville on May 4 for a final afternoon tea.

The Oulton Ladies Group

The Oulton Ladies Group meet for the final time. - Credit: Mick Howes

The group was formed in 1967 by a group of wives from Oulton with Doreen Goodwin and the Rev Christopher Goodwin - who was the then rector of the Good Shepherd Church in Meadow Road in the village.

Back then the group was known as the Good Shepherd Wives Group.

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The Pound Farm estate has just been developed and the idea was for the younger wives of the community to meet for a social evening once a month.

The 21st anniversary of the Oulton Ladies Group in 1988.

The 21st anniversary of the Oulton Ladies Group in 1988. - Credit: The Oulton Ladies Group

The name was changed to Oulton Ladies Group in 1988 when they celebrated their 21st anniversary and as the Oulton Community Centre had then been built, they moved there - as ladies of all ages were welcomed as members.

An archive photo of the Oulton Ladies Group meeting yester-year.

An archive photo of the Oulton Ladies Group meeting yester-year. - Credit: The Oulton Ladies Group

Over the years members have enjoyed many interesting talks, slideshows and demonstrations and visited venues including the James Paget Hospital before it was officially opened, Lowestoft Police Station and the Lowestoft Maritime Museum.

The 50th anniversary of the Oulton Ladies Group is marked in 2017.

The 50th anniversary of the Oulton Ladies Group is marked in 2017. - Credit: The Oulton Ladies Group

Group spokeswoman Joyce Aguss said: “I was social secretary for 14 years so was responsible for organising speakers.

"In past years we have also had coach trips out including to Windsor and Cambridge.

"Sadly, membership has declined from nearly 40 at one stage to 27 members at present and consensus was that it was now time to finish.”

A cake marks the Oulton Ladies Group's 40th anniversary in 2007.

A cake marks the Oulton Ladies Group's 40th anniversary in 2007. - Credit: The Oulton Ladies Group

As well as enjoying afternoon tea this week, members also viewed a display of old photographs and press cuttings of club gatherings and special occasions at the special event on Wednesday afternoon.

Gift vouchers are presented to Myra Swan, who had been group treasurer for 46 years, by Joyce Aguss.

Gift vouchers are presented to Myra Swan, who had been group treasurer for 46 years, by Joyce Aguss. - Credit: Mick Howes

At the end of the afternoon gift vouchers were presented to Myra Swan who had been treasurer for 46 years.