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Local British transplants gather for monthly tea

Afternoon tea is a British as it gets.

Every month, a group of local ladies gets together for just that.

They call themselves the "Tea Sippers."

“People will tell you I met an English lady the other day and you find out, where does she live, do you know her phone number,” said Nancy Wingfield, Tea Sippers member.

That's how this group of women originated and started to grow decades ago.

Wingfield is 90 years old and moved here in the 1940s to get married.

She's watched over the years as the people, meeting places and even the names have all changed, but the purpose of the group has remained the same.

“We'd all fix British things, we were all homesick for British stuff, fish and chips and we just fixed all English stuff you know,” said Wingfield.

Anthea Bywater is a new member, joining the group after moving to Roanoke a couple years ago.

“I have gotten to know a lot of them and I really enjoy seeing them and keeping up with them and making sure they're OK,” Bywater said.

Members range in age from 36 to 96, so a lot of different interests. But they seem to share an affection for the upcoming royal wedding.

“You can tell that they're very much in love and I hope they have a long and happy marriage and I think for U.S. and U.K. relations, if that's still a thing, it can only be helpful and strengthen the relationship we already have,” Bywater said.

“It means me getting up at 5 o'clock in the morning, but I’ve done it for every royal wedding since I’ve been here,” Wingfield said.

Wingfield's so interested when she's not keeping up with the royals in the news, she's watching their characters online.

“I've even got Netflix to find out the background on them,” she said.

Come the next Tea Sippers meeting, they'll have a lot wedding details to chat about.

If you’re interested in joining the group contact Local Colors at 540-904-2234.


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