THE founder of the York chapter of ladies’ group The Red Hat Society is setting up a new branch in Northallerton.

Beth Dale, of Clifton Moor, who has been made UK ambassador for the society for women aged over 50 who do not want to conform, set up the York chapter after a trip to the US during which she saw lines of women in red hats. She found out they were members of a society started by an American woman who bought her friends red hats when they turned 50.

The society has a strict ethos of following the Jenny Joseph poem “Warning!”, which begins: “When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple, with a red hat which doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.” Beth said within a week of launching the York group, York Scarlet Ladies, had more than 60 members, making it the largest chapter in the world.

Today the grandmother is taking members of the York Scarlet Ladies to Northallerton’s Lewis and Cooper tea rooms, between 2pm and 4pm, to explain more about the society.