Anxieties loomed in this year’s report over the ‘loss’ of impressionable youngsters ‘Membership has remained at the same level as previous years but one seems more conscious than ever of the numbers of boys who are not connected with any Club or Organisation. The loss of boys, previously quite good members between the ages of 15 and 16 years, has been very apparent. A few are regained but many are lost to the Cinema, Milk Bar, Dance Hall and that cause of worry, the Public House. It seems to go in phases the peak being Christmas when the sight of drunken minors is all too frequent. Our Monday night teen-age dances were an effort to retain some contact with this type of boy but it was only successful in that they returned for one night only.’
The annual extended camping trip explored even further afield than usual: ‘This year we became really ambitious and adventurous when we set out for a Club holiday afloat, on the Norfolk Broads. The total cost of the holiday for thirty boys was £250, much of which had to be raised by the boys with Dances, Concerts and collecting of scrap materials. However, in the end all thought it very worth while for it was unique, adventurous, and full of variety. It gave the lads fresh rivers, towns and villages to explore each day, and also fresh opportunities to play, to fish and to watch all the beauties of nature as well as a chance to steer and navigate one’s own launch. Many have criticised the holiday as being too costly but we feel it was well worth while as well as providing an answer to those who say that Clubs lack imagination and refuse to experiment. Finally there was little deficit for the Club to bear.’
Week-end camps at Thurstaston were under threat however, and described as ‘a very doubtful asset. Once again most of our camping time was spent repairing damage done mainly by absconders from approved schools, from whom one can gain no compensation. Hence most of our weekends were taken up with working parties. If only the hooligans doing the damage could see how much our lads enjoy their week-ends on such a grand site, we are sure they would leave us in peace.’
Florence Oxton Men’s Club paid tribute to the memory of late Chairman, Wm. Lee, ‘who, after a long and painful illness most cheerfully and courageously borne, passed away early in January leaving behind him a tremendous void in the life of the Club and a true realisation of the keen satisfaction he obtained from his constant and unselfish service on behalf of his fellow members.’
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