Each Friday afternoon, these five Mums would meet for a few drinks, with us kids being sent off to play with strict instructions not to be seen *or* heard "unless there is blood" (especially as we got older). Massive quantities of chippies (crisps) would be ground into the carpet, accompanied by plenty of lego. Lifetime friendships were formed. In many ways the other "kids" (for we are still kids, although we're aged between 33 and 36!) are closer than cousins, especially for those of us without actual cousins.
We shared many good and bad times down the years, but big birthdays were always a big event, both the Mums' 40ths, 50ths, and latterly 60ths and the 21sts of us kids. Parties were held and the jokes became more and more elaborate. My brother found this today, which must day from a 50th birthday I think around 15 years ago now. Somehow, it captures Friday Club in it's glory days.
When my mother died, Friday Club gathered round and were a huge source of strength to my brother and I. Everyone came round at some point to help us clear houses, deal with practicalities. We were invited to dinner by kids and Mums alike. After the funeral a core bunch of us gathered to remember happier times and many laughs (and glasses of wine) were had.
This is most of the kids (by Friday Club tradition, one of us is inevitably missing - he turned up 5 minutes after the pic was taken) and *our* kids (again, one - our first girl - is missing, at just over a week old, she was asleep), taken while I was in NZ after my grandmother died.
And here we are, at least most of us, back when it all started - I think this must be December 1977.