A 92-year-old HGV driver who met his wife across a Post Office counter is celebrating his silver wedding anniversary in style.
Roy Judge and his wife Vivien, 66, joined party-goers at a glamorous Tea and Tiara event at the Tabernacle venue in Llandudno.
The event was one of three sessions organised by Culture Action Llandudno with the help of personal support charity, CAIS, and housing association, Cartrefi Conwy. The project was funded by Arts and Business Cymru.
The “posh” 1940s-style afternoon tea dances are proving a big hit as part of a campaign to combat loneliness among older people. .
The entertainment was provided by four-piece band The Quaynotes which is fronted by CAIS chief executive and retired North Wales Police deputy chief constable Clive Wolfendale.
Roy and Vivien, Cartrefi Conwy tenants who live in Park Way, Rhos-on-Sea, loved every minute.
Vivien said: “It’s such a fabulous idea and we really enjoy it although Roy is struggling on his feet so we don’t manage to dance too much. It’s a great way of getting out and about and meeting friends. It’s certainly better than watching the telly.
“I met Roy in the Post Office in Rhos where I worked for a number of years.
“I’d pay him his pension and we got talking and, well, love blossomed and I moved into Park Way with Roy. I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Roy added: “It’s great to get out and come to these afternoon events. The music is great and we have a good laugh. It’s amazing and a perfect social event.
“It’s a great way to begin our silver wedding celebrations. We are in our 25th year of marriage now, who would have thought going for your pension would end up in the perfect marriage!”
Also having a ball was retired sheet metal worker and ex-professional footballer Gilbert Roberts, 83, who played for Grimsby Town at the time Kop legend Bill Shankly was manager.
Gilbert, a Cartrefi Conwy tenant who lives in Ffordd Dulyn, Llandudno, said: “I really enjoy it. I’ve even had a dance or two with my independent living co-ordinator.”
“It’s been wonderful and I really enjoy the events. The music is fantastic and who doesn’t like a dance with a pretty lady!
“It’s also a good time to get together and reminisce. People like to hear me tell stories of when I played under Bill Shankly. I never made it into the first team at Grimbsy, I was there from 1952 to 1956. I played in wing-back or full-back in the reserves.
“I also played for Wimbledon, who were a non-league club and I played against the great United goalkeeper Harry Gregg and Charlie Williams, the black comedian who was one of the first black players to play professionally in England. They both played for Doncaster at the time.”
Nerys Veldhuizen, Cartrefi Conwy’s older person’s engagement officer, said: “The idea for the Tea and Tiara events came from Culture Action Llandudno with funding from Arts and Business Cymru. As a registered social landlord, Cartrefi Conwy was approached to see if our older tenants would like to come along.
“It’s proved a massive hit. The event is more like a night club for older people but held in the afternoon. This is all about tackling loneliness and social isolation. It’s about getting older people out of their homes, socialising and having fun.”
Nicole Watson, of Culture Action Llandudno, says the Tea and Tiaras events were inspired by a London scheme called The Posh Club.
She said: “We are a community interest company which secures funding for cultural and art events in Llandudno. We secured sufficient funding for up to three Tea and Tiara events and they are proving a big hit.
“It would be nice if we could continue as we are finding the occasions are hugely popular and oversubscribed. We want to encourage older people to get out of their homes and socialise while having a lot of fun.
“None of this would have been possible without the Arts and Business Cymru funding. CAIS social enterprises have helped with the catering and I have worked closely with Nerys Veldhuizen to ensure we get Cartrefi Conwy residents here enjoying the dancing, music and other entertainment.”
CAIS chief executive Clive Wolfendale, lead singer and saxophonist with the Quaynotes, said: “It’s lovely seeing older people out reminiscing and having fun in each other’s company. We have certainly enjoyed playing and performing for them.
“Some of our CAIS social enterprises have supplied the sandwiches, cakes and refreshments. The whole event shows excellent partnership working that benefits older people.”
For more information on the next Tea and Tiaras event on January 31 please get in touch by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01492 871502