Pensioners' dinner to fold?

A SENIOR citizens annual dinner in Portishead is under threat after 35 years.

A SENIOR citizens' annual dinner in Portishead is under threat after 35 years.

More than 190 older members of the community enjoyed a three-course meal complete with entertainment at the town's Somerset Hall earlier this month, but the occasion was marred as news spread that it may be the last time the event takes place.

One of the organisers, Martin Ogborne said: "The annual dinner started in the early 70s when Portishead was more of a village and had tremendous community spirit.

"It was organised by the locals for older locals. It was funded and organised by Gordano Valley Round Table but the group folded when members became too old for Round Table and moved on to 41 Club.

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"From 41 Club came the Gordano Valley Senior Citizens Dinner Club, and we currently fund and organise this popular event, but many of us are now old enough to attend the dinner as guests.

"For the dinner to continue each year we need to raise at least £2,000 to fund it, we need 15 members of the community to help organise it, 45 drivers to help get the people to and from the dinner and then more people to help in the kitchen."

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Mr Ogborne added: "We are very grateful to Portishead Porters, the Lions of Portishead, Gordano Church, Ladies Tangent and other charitable groups who support the evening but more volunteers are needed if it is to continue."

Mrs Barbara Van Eker, of West Hill, said: "We really appreciate this wonderful evening, it would be terrible if it stopped.

"Perhaps we should make more effort to let the organisers know how important it is to us.

"Many of us are in our 70s and 80s and live on our own, it's a real treat we have been enjoying for years.

"To lose this annual event would be losing one of the old traditions of Portishead.

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