Swindon 2 coordinator Katy Golden is leading her tea party’s resurgence with a little help from 94-year-old poet, John Stratton.

The group recently held its second social gathering since re-starting after the pandemic and already has three new members.

But John, a long-time member of the group, is proving to be a star with his recitals. In fact they have proved so popular that other guests are now joining-in with their own renditions.

John, who has been with the group since 2015, said: “I’ve enjoyed writing since I was a lad and I like poems about nature and wildlife. I often copy them from newspapers or magazines and read them out but last time I wrote one of my own. It’s about the tea parties and is called, ‘Friends Old and New.’

“People seemed to enjoy it and now they are starting to bring their own poems. It’s nice that everyone can join in and helps bring us together.”

John, who worked for Great Western Railways for 20 years and was married to late wife Heather for over half a century, now rarely gets out of his home and so looks forward to the tea parties.

“They are wonderful occasions and I missed them terribly during Covid,” added John. “I was absolutely over the moon when Katy started them again.”

Katy, a mother of two who recently took over as coordinator of Swindon 2, leads a busy life. As well as getting the tea party group back on its feet she is a national account manager for a design company and serves breakfast to homeless people at a local church once a week.

“It’s been a bit complicated getting the group going again,” she said. “But now we have seven or eight older people and a good group of volunteers so things are working nicely.

“I really enjoy running the tea parties and having John with his poems is a wonderful bonus.”

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