TWO HUNDRED women dressed in purple clothes and red hats invaded Stratford-upon-Avon at the weekend for the 10th annual British Red Hatters convention.
The society, which was founded in America in 1998 but now has over 40,000 chapters worldwide, is dedicated to women over 50 who “wish to embrace life, have fun, and create new friendships”.
Staying at the Holiday Inn all weekend, around noon on Saturday the Red Hatters paraded down Henley Street in Stratford, led by the Alcester town crier.
This year’s convention was organised by Joan Wynn, Queen Globetrotter of the Scintillating Sophisticats, a Red Hat chapter of 18 ladies based in Bromsgrove which she started two and a half years ago.
She told the Herald: “It was an amazing event it really was. Because we are local, and there is nothing really in Bromsgrove to entertain people, Stratford just seemed ideal.”
On Friday night all 200 of them made huge Elizabethan dresses, in red and purple naturally, and had a hoedown at The Holiday Inn.
“It was basically a barn dance which was rather hot dressed in all this Elizabethan gear,” said Joan.
They were treated to performances from local theatre group, Tread The Boards, throughout the weekend, and on Saturday night, had a large ball wearing what Joan described as “plenty of bling”.
The Red Hat Society is traditionally for women over 50 but is now open to women of all ages, although in some chapters, those under 50 have to wear pink hats until they come of age.
The idea is based on a poem called Warning by Jenny Joseph which starts: “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple; with a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.”
Each year one of the British chapters of the Red Hat Society hosts the annual convention, and at the end of Joan’s successful event this year, she passed the mantle on to the Liverpool chapter.
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