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The Hungerford Wives Group was set up in 1957, initially calling themselves "The Hungerford Young Wives". The first chairman was Mrs Isobel Collier, wife of the Methodist minister at the time.

Initially, the group met in members' homes and as numbers grew, they held fortnightly members' and business meetings. Many fund-raising activities were arranged to benefit local charities, and the group took part in the carnival and variety concerts, as well as organising petitions on key local issues.

Amanda Johnston (nee Hook) contacted the Virtual Museum (Jan 2018) saying "My mum, Ann Hook was a member, along with, amongst many others, the wonderful Ivy Wells. They put on some wonderful variety shows in the Croft Hall over the years."

Ruth Howell (nee Evans) contacted the Virtual Museum (May 2020) adding "My mum was one of the founding members of the Hungerford Young Wives. She knew Isobel Collier from chapel - and also had been to school with and knew Margaret Cox (later Margaret Williams). I remember mum telling me that she put me in the pram (I was born in June 1957) and set off round the town drumming up support for the group. Mum trained as a teacher, so I think it was her way of getting some company and advice for young mothers, and some mental stimulation. I remember we had all the Minutes of the meetings at home at one point, but maybe they were returned to the group when she left in about 1967 (we were supposed to be moving to Maidstone, but it all fell through). Mum always ran the choirs for the shows - they often rehearsed in our front room - and she played the piano for them, too, so I never see her in the photos (Dad is in a couple)."

 

In Nov 1987 the Wives Group held a special dinner at The Three Swans Hotel to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The chairman at the time was Mrs Janet Matthews, and she welcomed the founding chairman Isobel Collier. At that time the group met on alternate Thursdays at 8pm at the John o' Gaunt Youth and Community Centre.

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Photo Gallery:

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- Hungerford Young Wives Carnival Float, 1958. Margaret Williams is holding the baby, Ann Hook is the bride and Chris Hook and Andrew Williams are in dressing gowns sitting bottom right. (Kindly sent by Chris Hook, Jan 2018)

- Hungerford Young Wives, Methodist Hall, Bridge Street, c1970. (L-R) June Stroud, Ivy Wells, Peggy Day, Hazel Rolfe, Doreen Morgan.

- The Wives Group performance in Croft Hall,?1960s. (Kindly sent by Chris Hook, Jan 2018). L-R: Jack Williams; George Hook; ??.

- The Wives Group performance of "The Sound of Music" in Croft Hall,?1960s. (Kindly sent by Chris Hook, Jan 2018)

- The Wives Group performance in Croft Hall,?late 1960s. (Kindly sent by Chris Hook, Jan 2018). L-R: ??; George Hook; Desmeulles; Mike Franklin; ??; Denis Simmonds; ??; Jack Williams; Vyv Long; Ron Pontin(?).

- Mrs Ivy Wells on stage at a Wives Group production (kindly sent by Karen Wordley (nee Wells))

- The Young Wives Group (Ruth Howell (nee Evans) kindly suggests (May 2020) it was taken outside the schoolroom at the back of the chapel in Bridge Street, where they most often met. From left to right:
Back row: June Tubb, Barbara Simmonds, Avril Ralfe, ? ? ? ?, Margaret Williams, Mrs Tarry (Ron's wife)
Front row: Ruth Rolf? ? Ivy Wells, Sylvia Evans, Mrs Johnson, ? ? ? June ? Mrs Hook, Gill Moore, ??.