1959

The publication of the Albemarle Report on the Youth Service ignited public interest in the work of clubs such as the Florence Institute.  Yet it was warned the Report could lead to the mistaken impression that funding for youth work would come from central government in its entirety; it was a surety that in the future the Management Committee would depend just as much on ‘continued financial support of all who are interested in the welfare of the Florence Institute for Boys.’

Compared with many, we are fortunate at the ‘Florrie’. We have spacious if old fashioned premises, a fine tradition of service from our Old Boys and we enjoy the real affection and goodwill of the neighbourhood. For all this we are grateful, but there is no cause for complacency. Our nightly attendance of 140 is one of the highest in Liverpool, but our building is large and, given more helpers, we could still do a better job. Much has been done in the past two years to improve the internal decoration of the club, but still more remains to be done and, even with voluntary labour, substantial improvements are very costly. ‘

The Fiesta Club, described as a ‘teenage social club’ exceeded expectations, in both numbers and the high standard of behaviour and dress of its members. The success was due to its own committee, which showed that ‘Young people, given modern facilities and proper opportunity, are perfectly capable of running their own affairs successfully, and this in itself is one of the ideals towards which the Youth Service should strive.’ The Fiesta Club was described as ‘one of the show pieces of the Youth Service in Liverpool’ and had‘earned the admiration of its many visitors.’ The Fiesta Club had an attendance of 120 fortnightly, and if the premises for this dancing section had been larger, applications show these numbers could easily have been doubled.

The Club programme expanded with an emphasis on outdoor activities, such as pot-holing, climbing and adventure camping, with an aim to ‘develop a boy’s self-reliance and character and, as well as being interesting to the boys themselves, should also develop better citizens and more useful members of the ‘Florrie’. Weight lifting is listed in this report for the first time in the activities section.

Florence Oxton, despite a challenging year (overtime, television and floodlit football matches being the worst culprits) reported sporting success. In football the first team won the I. Zingari Challenge Cup and Lancashire Amateur Cup, and won £50 for the Club as victors of a Benevolent Football Match on Easter Monday against Langton Football Club.

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