Northfleet Women’s Institute celebrated its 30th year in the most quintessentially British way.
The ladies raised a cup of their finest china and indulged in a slice of Victoria sponge during an afternoon tea party, with a traditional sing-song adding to the excitement.
The club has 45 members, some of whom helped start the group in 1986.
Almost all of the ladies celebrated the milestone last Wednesday, and even hosted guests from some of the other Kentish institutions.
Brenda Roberts, 81, of Lennox Road, Gravesend, was one of the founding members and is now the performing arts representative of the association.
She said: “We are just ordinary mums off the road. People get the wrong conception of what a WI is all about, but we’re just here to have a bit of fun and meet some other people.
“A lot of us make great friendships from it because you get to a time in your life when you have given up work and given up everything and then you come along to the WI and you find somebody in exactly the same situation as you and you form a friendship with them.”
The Women’s Institute plans weekly outings and get-togethers – anything from theatre trips to country walks and the occasional tipple over dinner.
The anniversary party took more than a year to organise and did not disappoint.
“A lot of women here are alone, or they were at least before joining. You can make friends here with like-minded people” - Beryl Martin, Vice President
Southfleet Village Hall was transformed with an array of floral displays and bunting, with tables full of homemade cake, raffles, and three decades’ worth of memories to look back on.
Beryl Martin, 79, of Colyer Road, Northfleet is the Vice President of joined the institute when her husband died 10 years ago.
She said: “After my husband died I joined the club to make a life for myself, and I did exactly that."
The ladies’ club is looking forward to celebrating a 100th birthday at the end of the month, and are planning ahead to their Christmas spectacular.