Elder Tree Club puts down roots at a new home

The Old Vic . Elder Tree Club. Front Staff Jo Sykes,Lou Kilburn,Margaret Griffiths,Jean Lawton , with the group enjoying a lunchtime visit. Picture Richard Ponter 142210

The Old Vic . Elder Tree Club. Front Staff Jo Sykes,Lou Kilburn,Margaret Griffiths,Jean Lawton , with the group enjoying a lunchtime visit. Picture Richard Ponter 142210

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A Scarborough pensioners’ lunch club which was under threat of closure after 40 years has been saved by the offer of new premises.

The Elder Tree Club, which originated at Elders Street Day Centre, has most recently been held at The Street in Lower Clark Street.

But after issues with funding and uncertainty over whether the club would be able to remain at The Street, it looked likely that the group would fold.

But at the eleventh hour, the group was saved by an offer from the Old Vic pub in Westborough.

Long-serving club volunteer Rosie Lester said: “We got a phone call out of the blue from Jo at the Old Vic saying we could use the first floor free of charge.

“We’re absolutely delighted. It’s like a dream come true - we could not have asked for better. We’re so grateful.”

Rosie said that the new venue is ideal, as it is spacious, has a lift and is right on the main bus route.

She added: “We’re attracting three times as many people each day as we were before. We’re working together with the Old Vic on building it up even more.”

The club runs every weekday except Tuesdays from 10am to 3pm, with around 20 to 30 people attending each day.

The members pay for an affordable cooked meal, provided by the pub, and enjoy a range of activities.

Rosie, who has been with the club for around 10 years, said: “It’s a lovely room and it’s got a dance floor next door, so we’re hoping to get some tea dances going. There’s lots of room - it’s just what we needed.”

She said that after sending letters out, a lot of old faces had come back to the club, adding: “It’s about what it does for all these people.

“Otherwise some of them would be alone and not see a soul. People have told me that they haven’t been anywhere since the club was at Elder Street and that they’d been really lonely.

“But now we’re hoping the club will continue on an upward climb.” New members are always welcome to come along to the group.