THEY were young mums together – all with a common interest in wellbeing and baby issues.
But 50 years on and the members of the St Luke’s District Infant Welfare Mothers Club are still going strong.
They are now grandmothers and love getting together to enjoy evenings out as well as weekly meetings.
Perhaps the aims have changed but the St Luke’s group still has one common aim – to welcome new members and make them feel at home.
Chairman Maureen Ledlington explained: “In 1963, ladies took their babies to be weighed and examined at the welfare clinic which was the old St Luke’s church hall, in Suggitt Street in Hartlepool.
“They decided to hold meetings about health, family matters and wellbeing.
“The meetings were held on a fortnightly basis and one of the mothers would be in charge of the children while the others listened to advice from doctors and nurses based at the clinic.”
A committee was soon formed with Nurse Olive Mavin as the chairman. The members decided to invite speakers and people to give demonstrations.
A six pence admission fee was charged and the ladies got to enjoy tea and biscuits.
Within a year, new premises were found at the Thornhill Special School Hall in Elmwood Road and that meant the club could meet every week (sometimes at the new venue and sometimes in Suggitt Street).
By the summer of ’64, afternoon meetings were disbanded and the club became an evenings-only venture – as it has remained to this day.
Maureen added: “We progressed to dinner dances, summer outings and a varied programme of events.
“Our group still has some founder members and this year we celebrate 50 years, which we don’t think any other group on a weekly basis has achieved.”
Now, the group meets every Wednesday during school term time, from 7pm in the Central Library in York Road.
“We are no longer young mothers,” said Maureen.
“Fifty years on and we are grandmothers and great grandmothers.
Anyone wanting to find out more should contact either Maureen on (01429) 269109 or Jean Hand on (01429) 421976.