Sunday, November 20, 2005

It's fun to play at the Y, W, C, A...

When I was ten, we moved to Kenton Bar in Newcastle and in due course I came across a youth club nearby. The building was the Young Women's Christian Association and despite the title had a Saturday evening Boy's Club.

It was run by a youth leader called Doug and had the usual things to do, like ping pong, a tuck shop and a record player. For a while, it even had a Juke Box. Most of the time, we spent playing team games & enjoying ourselves.

The building was a simple construction, looking somewhat like an overgrown Nissen Hut with a curved roof. As you entered, there was a TV lounge on the left (full of old Sofas), Doug's office and toilets on the right and further along on the left was the kitchen, with a hatch through to the main hall, which had a platform at the far end and fire doors at the far end of the left hand wall. Above the smaller rooms was a loft with a wooden staircase, also a matching door for getting stuff in & out at height above the hatch. The loft was a treasure trove, with all sorts of mysterious things in it. One year, I recall it being turned into a sort of grotto for a Christmas fair, with a cod recreation of Callers window walkways with plastic sheeting, populated by Santa's helpers behind (other schoolboys!)

I also went on holdiday with other boys & Doug in a Caravan for Summer breaks a couple of times & had a great time then as well. I was trying to work out why I stopped going & it eventually occurred to me, we moved house when I was 12 and it was a bit too far to wander there on a whim any more.

The club also did afternoon mixed clubs & there was a period of it being a film club as well. The most memorable thing there, however, as an entertaining troupe which Doug formed for touring old peoples home & the like. I had a sweet boy soprano voice and would sing the ballads whilst the others would sing more robust stuff with gusto.

I don't specifically

I shall blog about my treading the boards at another time, however, the name of the troup was memorable...

..."The Idiots!"

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