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Article, based on the scrapbooks kept by Susan Hollowell, by Kay Collins, 2008
Housemartins - 1964 to 1985

The first 21 years

The first page of the first scrapbook The first page of the first scrapbook.

The recently formed Court Estate Darby and Joan club went on their first outing. It was a tour of Shropshire, and 40 people enjoyed the day out in June.

A Mystery Trip took them to Woodhouse Eaves in Leicestershire in August.

A coffee evening was held to raise funds for the club in September.

On September 30th, 51 members and friends on an outing to the Repertory Theatre.

The AGM and tea followed in October when they confirmed the new name "Housemartins".

Trippers take a break
27-Apr Holiday Meeting at J. White's
04-May Minister - Mr A R Rollings
18-May On holiday
01-Jun Australia - Miss H Bayes
15-Jun Sixpenny parcel week
29-Jun Day's Outing - Suffolk Tour
06-Jul Strawberry Garden Tea at Chalkwell
20-Jul Cookery - 2pm J White's
03-Aug Garden Tea - Mrs Risdale's
17-Aug Minister - Mr W Makeham
31-Aug Half Day's Outing - Mystery Trip
07-Sep Cine Films - Mr Garner
14-Sep Garden Tea - Manor Farm
21-Sep Detective
05-Oct AGM

In the summer members or friends held fund raising events.
Tom Bason of Avenue Road held a coffee morning on August 11th, and
Mr Chettle, Mrs Mills and Mrs Brown jointly held a whist drive on August 23rd.
Mr & Mrs Helsdown in Avenue Road held a coffee eveningon the 22nd,
Mr & Mrs Berridge of Newton Road held another on the 29th.
Mrs Dorrington & Mrs Willmott held a coffee morning on October 13th at
459 Newton Road.

Raffles, competitions and bingo also added to the enjoyments at these events.

43 members enjoyed the day out in Suffolk in June
Anyone for tea?
Afternoon tea at Mrs Knight's home in Avenue Road

Plant a tree in '73
1972/3 Programme
02-Nov Minister
16-Nov Cyril Wilson - Tutankhamun
30-Nov Mrs K Clark - No.7 Make-up
21-Dec Christmas Party - John White's Pavilion
04-Jan New Year Message - Mr Wakefield
06-Jan New Years Party - J White's
18-Jan Mr Tindall - Film slides
01-Feb Club Films
15-Feb 5p Beetle Drive
01-Mar Peter Bayes - 'Going for a Song'
15-Mar Tree Planting
29-Mar Coffee Morning
05-Apr Irchester
19-Apr Easter Meeting & Easter Bonnet Compettion - Rev Coulder
23-Apr Outing
05-12 May On Holiday
17-May Films
31-May Films
14-Jun Day's outing
28-Jun -
12-Jul Strawberry Tea
26-Jul Mr Sykes - films
09-Aug Ride and Tea at Bedford Road
23-Aug Bletchley Market
06-Sep -
17-20 Sep On Holiday
04-Oct AGM & Harvest Festival
18-Oct Ninth Birthday Party
Evening Telegraph March 1973

March 15th 1973
Rushden Housemartins Over Sixties Club has made its own contribution to the "Plant a Tree in '73" scheme.

About 30 members of the club turned up to plant a double flowering cherry tree at the junction of Newton Road & Avenue Road.

June 7th 1973
On Thursday June 7th Susan began a lunch club for the lonely single pensioners in the club. She collected the people and took them to her home where they would prepare the meal together and cook it.

This gave them a few hours of companionship and a meal. Five people took part on this first day.

10th Birthday lunch was at Rushden Hall 1974
Other events for the year included a Fish & Chip Supper and New Year Party when 70 people attended, coffee mornings in January, February and March, and a 41 went to the Rushden Amateur Operatic Society's "Waltzes from Vienna" in March. On Easter Monday they had a trip to Waddesdon Manor near Aylesbury, with a tea stop at Leighton Buzzard.

A Strawberry Tea on July 4th at John White's Sports Ground Pavilion raised £46 for the club funds.

A day trip in June saw them enjoying Flatford Mill in Constable country, and Halstead for tea. In July Mr & Mrs T Young invited members to tea at their home, "The Cottage" in Irchester. Tea and a ride out to Stagsden Bird Gardens on the 15th, and a Handicrafts Exhibition at the Methodist Church Schoolroom on the 24th were in August.

74 people attended the Birthday Lunch in October, at Rushden Hall. A Concert was provided by "New Experience" - the junior members of the Rushden Amateur Theatrical Society.

The best attendance cup was presented to Mr G Groocock.

1974 the club celebrates its 10th birthday in October
with a lunch at Rushden Hall.
Bill Knight, a founder member Bill Knight at the 18th Birthday Party. Bill was one of the founder members of the Housemartins Club.
1983 Held at the Red House, Yelden
04-Jan Fish & Chip Supper - Rugby Club, Rushden
06-Jan New Years Meeting & Message - Mrs Grace Bates
20-Jan Mr Eric Fowell - Rushden
03-Feb Mr Clive Wood - Rushden
17-Feb Visit to Daily Bread - Northampton
03-Mar Mrs Annis - Tear Fund
17-Mar Miss Bull - Film Slides
31-Mar Easter Meeting - Rev Taplin - Methodist Minister
07-Apr Mystery Trip - Half-day Ride & Tea
14-Apr Coffee Morning - at Little Debden, Wymington
28-Apr Holiday Meeting & speaker Mrs Leach - Buttons
12-May On Holiday in Torquay
26-May Mrs Bence - Thimbles
09-Jun Day's Outing - Holkham Hall
23-Jun Open Meeting - Mr & Mrs Titmus - On a Banana Boat
07-Jul Strawberry Tea - at Rugby Club
21-Jul Speaker - Mr Hacket at Chelveston
04-Aug Afternoon Ride and Tea at Ashton
18-Aug On Holiday at Isle of Wight
01-Sep Speaker, Films & Bingo
07-Sep Age Concern Day at Castle Ashby
12-Sep Ringstead Flower Festival
15-Sep Coffee Morning at Highfield, Higham Road
06-Oct Harvest Festival, AGM & Tea
20-Oct 19th Birthday at Rugby Club 5pm
03-Nov Speaker - Police
17-Nov Speaker - Mrs Carter
01-Dec Christmas Afternoon - Vera Sawford - Faith Tea
15-Dec Christmas Dinner - Hinwick House
Lunch club members The seven members who enjoyed the Lunch Club's 10th Anniversary meeting.
Strawberry Tea - they served 105 teas and made £124 for their funds.
Membership increased from 36 to 50 this year
Coffee morning held at the home of Mr & Mrs David Jones
made £125 for funds.

In May the group had a holiday at Southsea, a half-day trip to Turners Musical Merry-go-round, a day out in Lincoln and another holiday in September in Scotland, as well as all the usual talks, games, demonstrations and teas. Members knitted or crocheted 21 blankets and gave them to Age Concern.

Susan was also now arranging various events for the Age Concern Rushden branch, and included as many of the over 60's in the town as she could. In December she arranged for a Carol Concert to be held at Park Road Baptist Church, and offered free tickets with "A special welcome to all elderly people throughout Northamptonshire".

Also in December the Housemartins enjoyed a tea on 6th at Yelden Village Hall, their annual dinner on the 20th, when they went to the Hunting Lodge at Cottingham.

George Moore presented a gift to Susan on behalf of the members and he also presented every member with his gift of chrysanthemums. He had kept a nursery business and a flower shop and greengrocery, in High Street South. No doubt George had grown the flowers especially.

As these two pictures show, the Carol Service was a great success and the church was almost full.

This was the clubs 21st birthday year and suitable events were once again arranged throughout. Inside the front page of the scrapbook for the 21st Birthday Dinner Susan wrote: "21, rewarding, happy, eventful, joyous, hardwork, fulfilling, sad, but all worthwhile years".
The picture above captioned by Susan as "The Gang"

Arnold Peters, the Wellingborough actor who plays Jack Woolley in the Radio serial "The Archers", was guest of honour at the Carriage House Hotel.

Susan was presented with a silver goblet by her daughters Sarah, Rachel & their brother Edward, in recognition of her work.

Mrs Ellen Smith received the attendance cup on behalf of eight members.

Mr President - George Moore
The Leader - Susan
Below l-r: Mrs Ellen Smith, Arnold Peters, Mrs Green & George Moore

There are more photographs and the rest of this special scrapbook is filled with acceptance cards, letters of appreciation and 21st Birthday cards.

Susan was presented with a watercolour painting of Housemartins in their Nest by the members.

Several speakers acknowledged the tremendous achievement and the dedication Susan had always given to her group.

pictures taken at the dinner

Mrs Green cuts the cake
Bert Catlin was Master of Ceremonies

click here to read about the club and its presidents

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