Sherborne lunch club marks 50th anniversary thanks to mystery phone call

MORE than 50 people attended a 50th anniversary meal at the Sherborne Lunch Club.

The event, on Tuesday, September 19, saw the Royal Voluntary Service gathering celebrate the landmark year at Raleigh Hall.

Rabiah Jackson, volunteer coordinator of the club, said it all began six weeks ago, when she received an unexpected phone call from a “mysterious lady”.

“‘Did you know…” she asked,” said Rabiah. “She revealed that she had been a volunteer when the WRVS first started the lunch club in Sherborne.

“That lovely lady is Christine Stones; the last remaining volunteer from that first team.

“She went on to say that the WRVS Lunch Club, now known as the RVS Sherborne Lunch Club, opened its doors on September 18, 1973, and that, this year, is the 50th anniversary of the lunch club.

“Can you imagine how excited we were?”

Christine Stones at the celebratory lunch

Christine Stones at the celebratory lunch

Current organisers met with Christine soon after that call and decided to host a celebratory lunch to mark the occasion.

“Invitations were quickly dispatched and our preparations began,” Rabiah went on.

“Christine graciously accepted our invitation; and attend as our guest speaker.

“At the celebration lunch she told us a fascinating story about the interesting people who attended the lunch club, and the way of life in Sherborne, 50 years ago.

“She was happy in her role as chief potato peeler, and helped with the washing up. At the time, the lunch club served lunches, delivered meals as well running a store in Cheap Street which offered clothing to people in need.”

Guests enjoyed the special anniversary cake

Guests enjoyed the special anniversary cake

A total of 52 members and guests sat down to a roast lunch on the day.

“Our members were delighted with the tables, which were splendidly laid with gold stars, yellow flowers, and other gold coloured 50th Anniversary decorations,” Rabiah added.

“Each person present that morning took home a slice of our special anniversary cake.

“Through the efforts of volunteer Clare, we had the honour of receiving a letter from Her Majesty the Queen; Patron and President of Royal Voluntary Service.

“Just before lunch was served, Maria Jacobson read out HM’s letter, in which she sent her warmest congratulations to the team on having reached our half century. We then raised a toast to the Her Majesty.

“Thanks to Christine Stones, September 18 will now be a special day for us.”

A letter from Queen Camilla congratulating the group

A letter from Queen Camilla congratulating the group

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