Horncastle Luncheon Club serves last supper as Age UK take over

Luncheon Club volunteers Peter Foster, Dawn Burrows, Annie Clark and Joanne Markham.
Luncheon Club volunteers Peter Foster, Dawn Burrows, Annie Clark and Joanne Markham.

The Yorkshire puddings have always risen to the occasion and the homemade fruit pies have pipped rivals from miles around.

However, now it is a case of ‘all change’ at Horncastle Luncheon Club.

The Community Centre-based club has been run for more than 20 years by Jean Norman.

But she hung up her apron for the final time last week - along with several volunteer helpers and chef Wendy Taylor, who has spent the last 11 years producing the tasty treats for regulars.

Happily, the club will continue under the auspices of Age UK Lindsey.

But for Mrs Norman and her band of helpers, it was the end of the line...or should that be menu?

She explained: “I’m not sure when the club started, but it was when I’d retired from work, so it has to be more than 20 years ago.

“I remember saying I’d do it for six weeks and here we are, all those years later.

“I lost count of the number of meals a long time ago and I’ll miss everyone.”

The club has served up hot lunches twice a week and regularly attracts 60 people, predominantly pensioners.

Mrs Norman admitted her own health - she has mobility issues - and the fact she’s ‘no spring chicken’ - were the main reasons behind her decision.

She added the problem of attracting new volunteers was another factor.

Mrs Norman said: “It is good that Age UK have taken the club because I wouldn’t want to see it fold. Some of the volunteers are staying on and I’m sure the regulars will still attend.”

Secretary Harry Gibbons made a number of presentations at the ‘last lunch’ last Wednesday and paid tribute to Mrs Norman and the other stalwarts.

Mrs Norman said she wouldn’t miss peeling potatoes, paperwork and the endless search for volunteers.’

She added: “I’d like to thank everyone for their help. I’m not so sure what I’ll do but as one door closes, another opens.”

AGE UK served their first lunch last Friday.