Red Hatters women’s group seeks new members

The Ipswich Red Hatters' chapter 'Queen' Jenny Andrew Picture: ADAM HOWLETT

The Ipswich Red Hatters' chapter 'Queen' Jenny Andrew Picture: ADAM HOWLETT - Credit: Archant

A vibrant women’s group in Ipswich - where members don purple clothes and a red hat - is urging more women to join them.

Red Hatters Ipswich

Red Hatters Ipswich - Credit: Archant

The town’s Red Hatters group, which is organised by the chapter’s ‘Queen’ Jenny Andrew, has grown to 20 members since it was launched last year.

The Red Hatters is an international organisation with chapters in more than 30 countries across the globe - and celebrates its 21st birthday on April 25.

Queen Jenny says the group is a place for women over 50 to get together and have fun.

“Some ladies are quite shy when they join, others are confident,” she said. “But we don’t allow cliques to form.

“We just want to make sure everybody feels welcome.

“One lady who joined recently said to me ‘you have made my day, you are all so colourful and there’s so much laughter coming from you all’.

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“The society is in about 30 counties across the world, we have 100 chapters here in the UK.

“Our founder started the Red Hatters society in 1998.

“She had read this poem by Jenny Joseph called “When I’m an Old Woman” and had been inspired.

“The poem goes “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple With a red hat which doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.”

“It is about a lady who was an absolute rebel who resists growing old gracefully.

“Not only do we have our own calendar of events, we also have national events.

“The only formal thing about the group is the uniform.

“All the need to do is wear a red hat or fascinator and block purple clothing.

“We feel there are a lot of ladies in Ipswich who don’t know about us who might want to make new friends and get out more.

“We want to reach out to them.

“I like to think we are giving something back to the community as well as welcoming women who need some new friends.”

The group meet up every third Thursday of the month at the St Lawrence Centre Cafe, in Dial Lane, Ipswich, from 11.30am to 1.45pm.

The Red Hatters are also holding a big garden party on June 22 at the White Horse in Tattingstone.

If you would like to join, call Jenny on 07745 135323 or email

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