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Dearne Youth Club – Club that Pulsates Like a Dynamo

January 1970

South Yorkshire Times, January 17, 1970

Club that Pulsates Like a Dynamo

At a time when there is so much criticism of the youth of this country it is encouraging to see so many youngsters taking advantage of the facilities offered by youth clubs and indeed, in many cases, making a major contribution to the society in which they live.

Few youth groups can have experienced such a rise in popularity and esteem, however, as Dearne Youth Club, which, in the last two years, has gone from strength to strength, and now rates as one of the most active clubs in the area.

Less than 18 months ago only 40 youngsters from Dearne (population 27,000) were taking advantage of the well-equipped modern premises of the club, situated next to the Town Hall at Goldthorpe, which replaced the old club headquarters at Dearneside School.

Since then, however, the club has risen in popularity until there are now nearly 200 members at every session, and there are seven sessions a week. In the words of club leader David

Webster, “It has started to get a bit crowded, but it all helps to create just the right atmosphere.”

500 members

The club now has 500 members on its books and to avoid overcrowding had to impose a limit recently on the number of people allowed into each session, but such was. the popularity of the club that devious means of gaining entry were attempted and the ban had to be lifted.

Since then membership has risen steadily and the club, which has a leadership of 16—ten of the leaders are former club members—has extended its range of activities to suit all tastes.

One of the highlights of last year, as many people in Dearne will be aware, was the “Save In”, which raised money through various ventures, including a marathon table tennis match, for handicapped people, and it is hoped to extend the idea this year.

The club’s football team is at present topping the Mexborough Youth League, while its two table-tennis teams are also top of their leagues.

For the girls there is a netball team, while for the not so sporting members, numerous other activities take place. One of the most popular recent innovations has been the mobile discotheque which visits the club every week and has replaced the weekly dancing to

“Live” Groups.

On Monday evenings feature films are shown at the club and, as on all nights, the cellar discotheque is open for those who prefer more lively entertainment.

Colour Television

A colour television set his been installed in the coffee bar and the usual facilities associated with youth clubs—table-tennis, darts and snooker—are available.

Saturday is -the night with a difference” at the club, when you might see anything from a film of an international football match to a well-known folk singer.

As David Webster said, “We are a bit cramped when it comes to space, but we try to make the most of what we have.

“Although the basic policy is to make the club as attractive as possible to members, there are several underlying principles which we adopt. We try to help members to have an easy transition from adolescence to adulthood and to give them a wider outlook on life than most adults have today.

“We also try to involve the whole community in the club’s activities and this helps members to establish a relationship with adults. We involve members in the running of the club, thereby helping them to learn how to make decisions, something which many adults find difficult.”