The start of the Youth Club

The Church Rooms: Ovingdean Road
From the private collection of John Davies

Permission from the vicar

We went to see the vicar and asked if we could have the Church Rooms, in Ovingdean Road, for the children in the village to have a youth club – he said we could have them free of charge. Rev. Milne was the vicar then and the old Church Rooms used to be the village school. The windows were broken – the floorboards were rotten – there was no roof on the toilet bit and it was about two foot deep in leaves.  The broken windows were repaired and the worst of the floorboards were patched up.

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Cleared, cleaned and scrubbed

Without asking the vicar we cut through a little serving hatch from the back room. We got a load of wood from the farm and Mr. Somerford and some of the boys from the village who did the work, built a roof over the toilet. We scrubbed everywhere down and then we started off like that – at first there were six or eight children – then it went to twenty six and slowly it built up with children not only from the village but from Woodingdean and Rottingdean.

The pitfalls of cowpats

We had a record player and we got a table-tennis table from the council on loan – we had a football pitch in Mr. Baker’s field but unfortunately there were so many cowpats that the boys were slipping over more than they were catching the ball.  It went on for about seven or eight years but it got too much in the end so it closed but the money we had left was given to the Brownies in Ovingdean.

Comments about this page

  • I was a founding member of the youth club in the old village hall. Mrs Driver used to be one of the supervisors. We only just managed to play table tennis in that room!

    From memory I did not think the vicar liked the idea of all these youths in his hall.

    By David Spinks (12/09/2019)

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