THE curtain has been brought down on a popular Vale arts group that has hosted 500 outings over more than two decades.
Since the Montfort Theatregoers was founded in 1991 its membership has grown from 60 to 151 people, who have enjoyed trips to venues including Malvern Theatres and Birmingham’s Symphony Hall.
But organisers Diana and Derek Lambert have now reluctantly brought the group to an end after no-one responded to a casting call for someone to take over.
Mr and Mrs Lambert, of Simon De Montfort Drive, in Evesham, initially saved the club from folding seven years ago after former committee members stood down.
Mrs Lambert, who is in her 70s, explained: “I’d been a member since it started.
“They were just so desperate to have somebody. I did it with enormous enthusiasm and joy. I didn’t want to see it finish, it would have been such a shame.”
She is very sad that no-one is willing to take over responsibility for the enormously popular club.
“The coaches were almost inevitably full. It’s been absolutely wonderful,” she said. “If you could see the Christmas cards, vouchers for garden centres and other gifts we’ve received, and the people begging us not to stop because it was so wonderful.
“We have asked and asked if anyone would like to take over.”
Originally called the Simon De Montfort Theatregoers, the group was started by four women from Simon De Montfort Drive who hired a car so they could go on a Christmas shopping trip to Birmingham.
After a second trip attracted 12 people, they found there were a lot of women around Evesham keen to go on trips and the theatregoers were born.
Former member Jess Fairs, of High Street, Evesham, said: “Those of us who have had the pleasure of being a part of what they have achieved will have a store of wonderful memories to look back on.
“Their wish to make it possible for elderly people still to ‘have a life’ will be remembered by many for a very long time.”
The group is donating its surplus funds - about £100 - to Macmillan Nurses in Evesham.