Members of an over-55s club have been visited by the police after one of their members received poison pen letters.
Great-grandmother Margaret Kitching, 76, was called a ‘gobby bitch’ and taunted about her appearance.
The retired dinner lady was described as ‘mutton dressed as lamb’ and asked to stay away from the club she has attended for eight years.
She was told her hair ‘looks like it has been cut with a knife and fork’ and that she looks as ‘cheap as chips’.
Mrs Kitching called in the police after receiving four letters and fingerprints have been taken from them.
Members of the over-55s club, which meets fortnightly at the Oaks Workingmen’s Club in Ardsley, Barnsley, have been asked by the police to give handwriting samples.
Mrs Kitchen, who has two sons, a daughter, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren said: “Some of the things in the letters are unbelievable. They are absolutely horrible and really upsetting.
“I think a jealous person is behind all this. It’s caused me real heartache and sleepless nights as well as stress. When I go out of my home I am always looking over my shoulder wondering if the perpetrator is following me like a stalker.”
One of the letters was signed with a devil symbol.
The club currently has about 23 members, all women in their 60s and 70s, who meet for social activities including bingo, quizzes, guest speakers and day trips to the seaside.
Mrs Kitching received the first letter, which was typed, through the post last November while she was recovering from surgery.
It read: “We are all glad you have left the club.”
Despite the letter, Mrs Kitching returned to the club only to receive a handwritten letter in February.
“Some of us are not best pleased that you are back, you always was bolshy and liked your own way even at school,” said the author.
It went on: “You are like mutton dressed as lamb in your charity shop clothes.”
The third letter, which was handwritten and prompted Mrs Kitching to call in the police, arrived in June.
It read: “You are cheap as chips with your cheap jewellery. Your hair looks as though it has been cut with a knife and fork.”
The fourth letter, also handwritten, read: “You would be surprised at what we get to know about you.”
It continues by calling her a ‘selfish, gobby bitch’ and tells her to keep away from the over-55s club, where she has served on the committee.
Mrs Kitching does not believe the letters have been written by anybody currently at the club.
She said: “I don’t think it is anyone at the club. It could be someone who used to be in the club originally or someone who is passing information.
“They say things like no-one likes me and talk about my buying things from charity shops. It is running me down.
“When I first got the letters I said I wasn’t going to the club any more but my friend said if I stopped going this person had won. So I’m still going.
“I have no proof as to the identity of the writer. I think it could be someone who used to be in the club and information about me has been passed on. It is getting me down.
“It is definitely somebody who knows me and my family very well.”
A South Yorkshire Police spokesman said: “We have received reports of a 76-year-old woman receiving distressing letters from an unknown person. Officers are continuing their inquiries.”