Kingston Ladies

One of the longest serving activities that takes place at the former 18th Century Tithe Barn that is the Kingston Village Hall (converted from a barn to a village hall in the 1930s) is the Kingston Ladies Group.

 

We sat down with leader Sue Larkins to find out more about this wonderful group which dates back many decades ago…

 

Can you inform readers about the background of Kingston Ladies? 

I run the Kingston Ladies group with Margaret Smith.

Kingston Ladies was originally started in Kingston as a way for young women who had moved to the village to meet up, become friends and to avoid rural isolation.

It was held in the evenings at a time where many members went out potato or fruit picking with their children to earn extra cash to pay for a few little extras.

When I came to the village in 1970, very few women had a job as there was not the child care available that we see now. The original members of Kingston Ladies put on shows such as The Kingston Capers which would fill the hall.

Over the years as people moved away and more women went to work, Kingston Ladies changed to a gentle pace with speakers on a variety of subjects in a very informal and friendly manner.

 

How difficult a period did Kingston Ladies have during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic?

After the COVID-19 lockdown and the uncertainty of getting speakers for Kingston Ladies, we had local people giving talks. We lost our evening slot and now meet on the second Tuesday of the month at 2pm.

One of our talks was given by Susan and Jenny Helbling from Duskin farm about the countryside stewardship scheme which was very interesting.

There is plenty of parking at the Barn and new members are very welcome.

 

What do you enjoy most about living in Kingston?

I love living in this area because of the community spirit and the fantastic countryside we have on our doorstep. We walked every day throughout lockdown, how lucky we are to live here! My son works for the NHS and posted photos of high-rise flats in London, the people had nowhere decent to go.

We have recently had a new play area in Kingston. Initially I thought that it might be unachievable because of the cost but due to the hard work and positive spirit of the people spearheading it and the generosity of local people, it is there for all the local youngsters to enjoy.

 

by Matthew Hemmings

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