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Meet the Coed Eva Young Wives Club: Going strong after 58 years

Members of the Coed Eva Young Wives Club
(left to right) Margaret Wiltshire, Jill Millership, Vera Adams, Jackie Holroyd, Wendy Hern, Gloria Hancock and Anne Evans- The Coed Eva Young Wives Club (Photo: Cwmbran Life)

A group of women who set up The Coed Eva Young Wives Club in 1966 still meet up every week for a laughter-filled catch-up.

Fifty-eight years ago they met in the afternoon so their toddlers could play with each other. But as their children got older and went to school, the friends moved their club to the evening where it’s still going strong today.

Every Wednesday from 8pm to 10pm, they can be found in the meeting room at the White Hut in Coed Eva. Cwmbran Life went along to their club to listen in and find out how the group and their friendships are still going strong after such a long time.

I nervously entered the community hall just after 8pm and had a warm welcome from the seven women. Two of the members couldn’t make the session, Christine Williams and Linda Pritchard.

They first met in the community hall at the now-demolished Coed Eva Secondary Modern School. Over the years they’ve used venues including Fairwater Leisure Centre but found their home in the White Hut around 25 years ago.

From its early days of lots of events for children, it then became (and still is) a chance for them to leave the youngsters at home and have fun. Shopping trips, cookery demonstrations, first aid lessons, theatre shows, wine tasting. guest speakers, and even a treasure hunt in cars have kept them busy.

One member said: “We like having a cup of tea and putting the world to rights. It’s the Coed Eva Young Wives Club, we still call it that. We can’t get out of it. We’re young at heart.”

They share cars and pick each other to make sure everyone gets to the meeting. One joked: “The husbands are glad to see us gone.”

Jill Millership turned 80 at the start of January and the group put on a “lovely spread” for her at that week’s catch-up. Two more members turn 80 this year.

During my visit they chatted about silver wedding anniversaries, ailments, the upcoming match between Newport County and Manchester United (and tickets on sale for £600), the Next sale, the new Cwmbran Greggs’ store, and what’s happening to the David Evans store in town. It was good fun to listen in and wonder how topics jumped so quickly from one to the other.

I was told: “It’s a wonder you can get one word in with us. It’s one thing, then it goes off in another direction.”

And their group is up-to-date with modern communications. They’re all in a WhatsApp group to keep in touch between meetings.

I asked why they still meet after 58 years? I was told: “We get so much out of it. We can tell each other anything. It’s our night out.”

One member said: “It’s about encouraging people to get together.  Young people wouldn’t be so lonely if they came together.”

I did smile when they recalled going to see a clairvoyant: “Didn’t they say that one us of was pregnant?”

The fun doesn’t stop at 10pm. A few of the group always head to the nearby Blinkin’ Owl pub for last orders to continue the chat.

There was a lot of laughter during my hour. As they lined up for the group photo, one shouted out: “Breathe in ladies. Hope you’ve got a wide-angle lens.”

My one-hour interview was a reminder of the importance of community and friendships. They may use WhatsApp but that’ll never be able to recreate their two-hours of laughter in a community hall less than a mile from where they first became friends in 1966.







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Meet the Coed Eva Young Wives Club: Going strong after 58 years