The Square Table Luncheon Club celebrated its 30th birthday on Thursday 7 February 2019. In that time, a total of 88,561 meals have been served; a tremendous achievement!
The club, which received a silver commendation award from the Chair of North Tyneside Council in 2015, was set up on 9 February 1989, with the aim of serving reasonably-priced lunches in a friendly and caring environment to church members and members of the local community.
At first the ladies served lunches out of the small kitchen next to the Livingstone Room in the former west wing of the church premises, but after two years, the club had grown so large that it moved to the church hall, with a much larger kitchen. The 2007 improvements to the church premises provided a much more accessible kitchen and toilets, all on the same level as the hall. The club itself has contributed to the running of the premises and improvements to kitchen facilities, and has also been able to donate over £35,000 to good causes.
A varied menu is offered each week. On the anniversary itself, customers could choose from: chicken soup and roll, egg and cress sandwiches with side salad, shepherd’s pie with carrots and peas, arctic pear, tray bakes, tea/coffee/orange juice. The meals are appreciated, and indeed customers sometimes leave tips; over the years these have enabled the club to donate almost £12,000 to St Oswald’s Hospice.
Over the years, many friendships have formed around the lunch tables, although it has been sad to lose some regulars as age caught up with them. The club continues to welcome all comers from 11.30 to 13.15 on Thursdays, with usually 30-40 each week.