I’d like to thank readers for the positive response to Paul Sharpe’s request for help with continuing the great work of the Manor Youth Club in Aldridge last week: Paul has already received some generous offers from the appeal and welcomes anything anyone else can do.
Inspired by this, reader Brian Edwards in Canada sent the following remarkable image of Shelfield Youth Club in the 1960s, about to commence a sponsored walk for charity. Brian had lots to say about the image and about Youth Clubs in general, with which I heartily concur. I’ll say here and now to Brian that I’m very, very grateful for this, and for any further information he’d like to send in.
Youth Clubs were, and remain a huge part of childhood for many kids and I welcome any discussion of them or their history – as Brian notes many lifelong alliances, relationships and hobbies were formed and cemented within their auspices. Like Working Men’s Clubs they’re not glamorous, but form a huge part of our social fabric.
I have attached below a photograph of Shelfield Youth Club back in the 1960’s. This was a Saturday Charity event.
You could if you wish use this to show how good youth clubs can really be or begin a new article with this. You will note that there are youth leaders among the group and most of these people I can name. It is not a matter of a youth club being for youth of that direct area be it Aldridge, Shelfield, Rushall and so on because I see people in this photo from every village within a three mile radius. It not just the club members either, its their parents who would get involved from donations to partaking of events plus we were an open door for talent. Its places like this where bands emerged and this could still happen.
When I tell friends that we used to pay The Slade (The Inbetweens) 25 quid a night it brings a laugh. There were also connections with youth clubs as far away as Uttoxeter, where we would visit for dances with other amazing bands.
Anyway, the photograph I have attached was a walk that was done for charity with the previous one from this being a pram push to Lichfield and back; we would take it in turns resting in pram whilst being pushed. So have a good day and may the sun shine upon your road ahead.
P.S. – I forgot to mention there are even two French boys who were visiting in this photograph. Also the group you see on the photograph was but one of the groups there; you will note that the youth leader to the right is directing his attention to another group who are off camera.
By the way, here in Canada, the amount of involvement of youth in curricular outside of their schooling is amazing, literally amazing. If you wish for me to pinpoint what children and youth do in their own time here I will.
Thanks Brian – such wonderful contributions make this blog what it is. As I say, any further info is welcome. In the meantime, if you have any memories of your Youth Club or can name any of the people above do please feel free to comment or mail me: BrownhillsBob at Googlemail dot com. Cheers.