SECOND wives, stepmothers and the wives of widowers in Cumbria could soon benefit from a nationwide support group that has moved its headquarters to the county.

The British Second Wives Club (BSWC) was formed in March 2005 to provide women whose partners have been married before with support and advice on a whole range of issues.

Three years on and a great deal of television, radio and magazine coverage later, the club has attracted more than 1,500 members and has found a new home for itself in Penrith, with plans also being drawn up to set up friendship groups in Kendal, Keswick and Carlisle.

Founder Linda Mellor said: “We decided on Cumbria as the new base for the BSWC for a number of reasons. From a business point of view, transport links to the rest of the country are excellent, which is important to us as our members are spread right across the country. From a personal point of view, Cumbria has to be the most beautiful place in the UK to live.”

Ms Mellor, who met her partner while he was in the process of a divorce, explained that the majority of women joining the BSWC did so because they had suffered emotional and, at times, physical abuse at the hands of their partner’s ex-spouse.

“The BSWC is a group for women who are with a man who has been married before,” she said. “It could be that they are having problems with his ex-wife or they could be worried about meeting their step-children for the first time.”

Commenting on its success so far, she added: “It is fantastic. I am absolutely over the moon that I have created something that has helped other women.”

The BSWC website is at the heart of the club – a place where members can organise social events, charity work, seek advice and discuss issues on special forums.

“We have had some fantastic feedback,” said Ms Mellor.

“Many of our members are women who have felt really alone with their problems and this gives them access to a group of like-mind people who are dealing with similar issues.

“We have had some fantastic friendships built over the years.”

For more information about the BSWC, log on to