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Mother's group celebrates 130 years of friendship and support

PUBLISHED: 12:45 26 July 2018 | UPDATED: 12:45 26 July 2018

Myra Clelland and Marie Bass cut the cake to mark the milestone of the Mother's Group at Greene King Picture: ROBERT ROBERTSON

Myra Clelland and Marie Bass cut the cake to mark the milestone of the Mother's Group at Greene King Picture: ROBERT ROBERTSON

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A celebration took place at a Suffolk brewery last weekend as members of a mother's group raised a glass to 130 years of friendship and support.

Left to right: Maureen Swindles and Sally Wall of the Mother's Group at Greene King Picture: Robert RobertsonLeft to right: Maureen Swindles and Sally Wall of the Mother's Group at Greene King Picture: Robert Robertson

The Mother’s Group at Greene King, in Bury St Edmunds, was formed in 1888 by Mrs E.W Lake – the wife of then managing director of the brewery – and her vision was to support the company’s wives socially and financially.

She arranged for two Bury shops Plumptons and Prettys to send any invoices incurred by the wives to be sent to Greene King for payment, and the wives would pay back a little each week.

More than a century on and the group is still going strong, meeting up at least three times a year.

While it is still known as the Mothers’ Group, members do not have to be female or a mother – all are welcome to join.

Members of the Mother's Group at Greene King celebrate the milestone Picture: ROBERT ROBERTSONMembers of the Mother's Group at Greene King celebrate the milestone Picture: ROBERT ROBERTSON

Most of the members are now retired or current employees, rather than wives of those who work for the pub company and brewer.

To celebrate the milestone, a party was held at Greene King’s Brewery Tap on Saturday, July 21, with more than 30 people attending, including the oldest member Myra Clelland, 82, who joined more than 21 years ago.

Sue Russell, Greene King’s welfare officer and chairman of the Mother’s Group, said: “We are proud that the group has survived two world wars and many changes over the years.

“We are a collection of ladies who are connected to Greene King, either because we work or have worked at the company or our husbands did.

“We usually meet for a lunch and this year we had the first outing for many years when we watched You Win Again, the Bee Gees story at the Apex.

“I am so pleased the numbers of the group continues to grow and our consensus is that we can’t let the group close, there is so much history.

“And, while we are all connected to a brewery, there’s nothing better than a natter over a nice brew of tea and cake.”

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