Club for young at heart is beating strongly

Published on: 14 Aug 2015

A LIVELY senior citizen club for people in Downend and Fishponds is proving so popular there is a waiting list.
The Not So Young Club meets once a month and in addition arranges meals, visits and day trips. Members even go on holiday once a year and have visited Scotland and Ireland.
The club has been going for more than 25 years but in recent times has expanded and is attracting members from areas outside Downend and Fishponds with some coming from Chipping Sodbury and Yate.
Members meet at St Augustine’s Parish Hall in Downend but as the hall isn’t particularly large, it means the club is restricted to 80 people due to health and safety issues.
Club chairman Frank Murphy, 78, said: “We meet once a month but in between that we go on day trips or meet for meals. We are planning to go to Bletchley Park in September and will soon be starting to talk about booking a Christmas meal and booking trips and a holiday for 2016.”
Trips have included a guided bus tour around Bristol with a boat trip around the harbour which had to be split into two because there were so many members. They have also visited the Port of Bristol Authority and various seaside towns.
“We had one trip where we were going to Sidmouth but it was absolutely bucketing down with rain! We phoned the coach company and asked if we could be taken somewhere else. We ended up at Buckfast Abbey which ended up being a very enjoyable day out.”
The youngest members are around 60 with the eldest being a woman aged 94.
“They are all lovely people and I speak highly of them all,” said Frank.
“The club is purely a social group where we get together and help each other to have a form of social life away from the normal run of things.
“We’re all friends and help each other out.” Monthly attendance at meetings is impressive.
“It depends on the weather and if people are away on holiday but it can range anywhere between 55 and 70 people,” said Frank.
Most meetings involve speakers, sometimes with videos or slide-shows, on a wide range of topics including tourism, local history and hobbies.
Frank has been a member for four years and has been chairman for nearly three of those.
He said: “I get satisfaction from being able to do something for retired people in the community and from organising and making arrangements for the various activities we engage in.”
Although applications are currently closed for new members, people who are interested in joining can go on a waiting list.
To find out more, contact the club’s secretary Julia Lee on 956 3986.

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