Monday, 12 October 2020

Photographic History - Eton Wick Youth Club

The photograph is of the Club's 1948 outing to Margate. In the back row left to right is the Windsorian driver (name unknown), then Harry Wakefield (secretary), Frank Bond and Harry Pearce (committee members), Des Russell, Mrs Pearce, 'Chub' Bennett, Mrs Wakefield, Dennis Phillips, Bill Ingram, Mrs Hall, Ann Bright, Ray Haverly, Sheila Robertson and Sheila Spiers, ?, and Cecil Thorn (committee member). In the front are Alan Smith, 'Cooie' Barton, Mike Thorn, Bob Snaichel, Peter Frost, Phil Harding, John Newport, Eileen Bolton, Vic Merkett and Ray Mumford. The two young girls on the left are unidentified, the two on the right are Monica Pearce and Julie Wakefield. 


Eton Wick Youth Club members cutting logs for the aged in 1956. Sawing logs: Geoff Pardoe, Mike Knight, and sitting on the timber is John Alder. The axeman is Bill Critchell. 

From 1955, club boys chopped logs and delivered them to the aged. In 1956 alone over 11,000 logs were delivered. Trees available for logging were notified to the club by the Council and Eton College. Club girls supplied the loggers with refreshments. For its services the club was awarded the Hospital Saturday Fund Cup, received a written commendation from the Buckinghamshire County Council Chief Education Officer and was featured in the National Boys Clubs press (see picture). The Club age range at the time was 14 to 21 years. By the end of the 20th century, the age range had reduced considerably, partly by the introduction of a junior club in the 1960s, and partly as a reflections of nationwide social changes. 

The campers are at the back, left to right: Des Russell, Frank Bond, Mick Phillips, Andy Lewis, Terry Harman, Les Hood, John Jeffries, Don Middleton, Cecil Thorn, and George Lund. In the centre row: Tony Clibbon, Ron Branwhite, `Mo' (Maurice) Nicholls, Jacquie Hodge, Val Bailey, Norah Sumner, Joyce Russell, Margaret Wilson, Tony Johnson and Conway Sutton. In the front: Geoff Pardoe, Richard Jordan, Tony Gallop, Terry O'Flaherty and Ian Lewis. 

Eton Wick Youth Club Camp, St Ives 1958. For many years the Youth Club held an annual two week summer camp in Cornwall. The club worked hard to raise funds to buy camping equipment. In these days the cost to the members varied according to age and was typically (rail and coach fares inclusive) from £8 for 15 year olds, rising to £16 for 18 year olds and adult helpers. 

Eton Wick Youth Club Camp 1962 In the back row from the left: Derek Harrison, Ray Emery, Ted Turner*, John Stacey, John Betterton, Richard Jordan, Les Emery, Arthur Gittens, John Newell, Ian Wilson*. John Lee, unidentified*. Centre row Peter Tarrant, unidentified, Colin Harrison, Barry Alder, John Alder, Fraser Hatch, John Durbin, Jim Alder, Frank Ormond, Willy Welford, unidentified*, unidentified*, John Gittens, Frank Bond, Mick Bell. Seated in the front: Nancy Sharp, Christine Drewett, Susan Miller, Carol Cullum, Caroline Miller, Susan Jordan, Jennifer Paintin, Margaret Wilson, Joyce and Des Russell with their son Ian. 

The photograph opposite was taken at the popular club camp site on John and Kitty Roger's 'Hellesveor' Farm, St Ives, Cornwall. Although only four years after the 1958 club camp photograph shown elsewhere, there is virtually a new 'generation' of members. Those marked with an asterisk * are members of Denham Youth Club, who joined in several annual camps as for a time, Frank Bond was also the Club Leader at Denham. A few years after this photo, Derek Harrison with his family ran a restaurant and fish and chip bar at the sea front in nearby Perranporth; elder brother Colin emigrated to South Africa. 

Eton Wickers may remember Ian Wilson and Ted Turner (Denham members), Ian worked in the Bond's greengrocery shop in Eton Wick, subsequently becoming manager of one of their other shops; Ted became owner of KBG Engineering in Alma Road. Richard Jordan and sister Susan emigrated to New Zealand, and John Gittens to Canada. 

Christine Drewett and Les Emery, John Betterton and Nancy Sharp, and Colin Harrison and Margaret Wilson (daughter of Councillor Ivy Wilson, no relation to Ian Wilson) subsequently became partners in marriage. 

It is noticeable how many Eton and Eton Wick family names of the 19th century are still represented in this 1962 photograph. (There are seven surnames that appear in the 19th century census records and three in the 1901 and 1911 census or the 1939 Register)

Many of the village's former teenagers from the 1950s onwards will have happy memories of their days as members of the Youth Club. The club also attracted members from surrounding towns and villages. Quite a number of members in fact went on to marry their fellow club members. In this picture, Frank Bond, club leader from 1950 to 1961 and chairman for many years after that, receives a presentation to mark his retirement as chairman from Chris Foreman and Val Chamberlain (to become future married partners). In the centre is Mike Newlands, former leader and new chairman. To the right of Frank is Patron and former chairman Jim Ireland and club member turned leader, Geoff Low. 

From left to right are Frank Bond, Richard and Carol, Mike Newland, John Lovell, Geoff Low and on the right, the then current leader, by this time paid and appointed by the County. 

There are six leaders or former leaders of Eton Wick Youth Club in this photograph, taken c1987 at a reunion when former club members, ex-leader and marriage partners Richard and Carol (née Chamberlain) Jordan returned from New Zealand for a holiday. After being a club member in the 1950s, Richard took on the leadership of the club and later became a full time youth worker at the Hook, Chessington Youth Club before emigrating to New Zealand in the 1970s where he initially continued with his full time youth work. 

This article was first published in A Pictorial History of Eton Wick & Eton.

You can find other articles on Eton Wick History that mention the Youth Club by clicking on this link.

If you were a member of the Eton Wick Youth Club please share your memories in the comment box below.

No comments:

Post a comment