Historically, our tea parties welcome more women than men to enjoy friendship over a cup of tea or two. But one group in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire is bucking that trend.

William, Michael and Robbie are all former farmers and Ian was a ship engineer who spent ten years working with the US Army in Southampton after the Second World War. He moved to Scotland from the south of England after Chris, his wife of 45 years, died. He now lives closer to his daughter, Beth, who is a host for the tea party group. 

Ian explained: “I’m not a very good mixer so Beth encourages me to go along, and I’m glad I do. It’s nice to meet other people.”

Robbie, who lives alone in sheltered accommodation, said: “It’s great to talk to the other men about the countryside and things. We do tend to stick together but of course, we also mix well with the ladies.” 

William, who has some challenges with mobility, rarely gets out and about unless he is accompanied. He said: “That’s why the tea parties are important to me. Someone drives me and that makes it easier. It feels quite natural to mix with the ladies. There’s always good chatter.”

Michael, whose wife Joan died 15 years ago, said: “I wasn’t totally convinced about going to a tea party at first. But I gave it a go and I’m very glad I did. They are enjoyable events.” 

Jane Galloway, coordinator of the Laurencekirk group, said: “The men really enjoy going and get dressed up for the event. They all mix very well with the ladies and are a pleasure to have along. 

“There are around a dozen in my group so we always have a good male contingent.”

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