THE CHAIRMAN of a women’s club which has been forced to close its doors after 60 years said the dwindling membership is a “sign of the times”.

Marlow Townswomen’s Guild, which met at Liston Hall, forged links and friendships among the town’s women since it was launched in 1954.

But citing members’ increasing commitments in their busy lives, the group, which held a plethora of multi-discipline activities, has announced it is to wind up after memberships dwindled.

Chairman Janet Martin, who has been at the helm for 40 years, said: “It is sad that there aren’t more people who want to come forward to be involved.

“It’s a lack of younger members, and when we first started there wasn’t the sort of provision for people in Marlow that there is now. Marlow is very well served in that respect, and it is a sign of the times really.”

Activities organised by the Marlow guild over its 60 years history include drama, craft, gardening, social studies, bird watching, a choir, pub lunches and a Sunday club.

Member Rosie Field said: “This Guild has given so much pleasure to all the ladies that attended its meetings. Many of us have realised potentionals that we never knew we had.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time as a Townswoman. I feel the 'belonging' has enhanced my life.”

The Townswomen’s Guild, which has over 700 branches and 300,000 members nationwide, was founded in 1929 to represent women’s voices in society.

Members meet regularly to develop new skills, exchange ideas, discuss topical issues and organise charitable events nationwide.

Marlow Mayor Suzanne Brown described the group’s closure as a “huge loss” for the town.

The final meeting will be held at Liston House on Wednesday, 22 January, when the remaining 30 members will meet to celebrate the achievements from the past 60 years.