A GROUP of women with a combined age of 1,200, have celebrated more than 50 years of friendship.

Originating from Malton, Hovingham and Rillington – the friendship started through their husband’s involvement with the Malton and Norton Round Table.

After the Malton and Norton Round Table ended, since the age limit is 45 years old, the women decided to organise regular meetings to stay in touch.

“If anyone needs anything, we are 100 per cent supportive and willing to help,” said Sally Ainsworth, who is one of the friends.

“Some of us are now widows or not particularly able-bodied, so having our strong friendship means everything in particularly unknown times.”

Meetings involved journeys to the seaside, visiting the theatre, attending the races and walking in the countryside. Now, the friends take turn every month to decide where and what the meeting could be.

Two women, out of the 20 in the friendship group, decide on activities such as a meal somewhere, a coffee morning or spending time together at somebodies home.

“Everyone describes the friendship as a lifeline in difficult situations,” added Sally.

“It’s wonderful how nobody has outgrown our friendship group or fallen behind, everyone seems to have stayed in the Malton catchment area.

“We have all taken a similar path by having children progressing to further education, grandchildren and even great grandchildren.

“We are all still comfortable around each other, exactly the same as day one, keeping each other grounded.

“I wouldn’t be the woman I am today, without our friendship.”