FOR some of the elderly people who go along every week, it is the only opportunity they have to meet other people.

Every Tuesday, for nearly 24 years, the Upper Stratton Luncheon club has met, giving retired people in the area a place to go, meet with friends and enjoy a home-cooked meal.

But the committee has decided the time has come for them to retire and is appealing for volunteers to come forward to take over.

Eileen Legg, the club's secretary, said they were all getting older and thought the time was right.

"It will be the club's 24th birthday in June and we decided that would be a good time to hand over the reins," she said.

"We have all worked together for a long time and didn't really want to work with anyone else so we are all retiring together.

"We'll keep going until the party in June though."

The group, which has around 60 members, meets at the Meadowcroft Community Centre.

Every week, members enjoy a home-cooked lunch, followed by either a raffle or game of bingo.

At the moment there are eight members of the committee, most of who have served on it since the group was started.

But for the group to run, the only essential committee members are the chairman, secretary and a cook.

One of the regulars, Ivy Elkin, 85, said she would miss going over to the weekly gatherings.

"I've made a lot of friends here over the years and I know many people," she said.

"I remember when we used to bake cakes and sell them and have bazaars, although we don't do that anymore, which is a shame."

The group moved over to the community centre when it opened and before that met at St Phillip's hall.

"Back then we didn't really entertain the members," said Eileen.

"They used to play snakes and ladders or ludo.

"It was so nice when we moved over here because the kitchen is so much bigger.

"It is such a popular group and it would be such as shame to see it go."

Anyone interested in joining the new committee or would like more information about what's involved can get in touch with Eileen on 01793 527995.