With the 2020 Aberystwyth camp cancelled, we have put together a short film with photos of lads and volunteers camping at home and what they miss most about the Salford Lads Club camp. It includes some archive photos alongside the photos from young club members and volunteers.
Known to everyone as “Salty” Eric joined the club aged 12 in 1942. By 1949 he was captain of the senior netball team, a high dive and crawl swimming champion and played semi pro- football for Altrincham. His first volunteer job at the club was to light the coal fires in the games rooms before each evening session. He attended the first post WW2 camp at Kettlehulme in 1947 and was still attending camp in 2012.
In the video, Tales from camp https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3W18RShi3g&list=PL8vzwBxG4B2OrGBNsuaUCiuW-6ad2z3q4#action=share Eric talks about cycling the 20 miles from Ordsall to Kettleshulme in Derbyshire, after work on a Friday evening to set up the campsite.
Eric is pictured top left in the centre (wearing braces) at the 1949 camp; in the kitchen at the 1980 camp; front left at the 2005 camp and front row centre in the SLC football team of 1947.
#NeverMoreNeeded Our film is a reminder of a typical lively Wednesday night at Salford Lads Club with football and boxing. 170 local young people benefit from activities we offer each week.
We are sad to announce the recent death of Jean Unsworth 4 days short of her 90th birthday. Jean was secretary of the club from 1975 to 1990 and worked alongside her husband Ken who was joint leader with Dave Waterson. Ken and Jean are pictured (centre) at the 1982 camp. Jean was secretary at the time of Stephen Wright’s now iconic photograph of The Smiths taken in 1985, but back then it caused a lot of controversy. The MEN newspaper article from 1998 is now pasted in the Smiths room and gets lots of interest from visitors from around the world.
Earlier this week we reluctantly took the decision to cancel plans for our 2020 annual camp trip in line with government guidelines. It’s the first time since WW2 that the camp will not take place. Planning has been going on at the club since January and 25 young club members had already signed up to take part. Only the general strike of 1926 and WW2 have led to the camp being cancelled before.
Neal Keeling has published an article about this in today’s MEN https://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/salford-lads-club-coronavirus-summer-17950126
Young volunteers Jess and Blaine who help every Saturday at our open days, had an early morning flight, courtesy of Simulator Adventures, Salford Quays. They took control alongside pilot Alan. After the session they were back in time to help with Manchester Music Tours visitors. The photo shows Jess with senior club volunteer Dennis Lewtas, Alan and Blaine. Thanks to Alan and Stewart at Simulator Adventures for a very special experience.
“ To Brighten Young lives & Make Good Citizens” is our founding motto, so it was good to welcome a group from Nelson last night with very similar aims. Positive Voices is a global youth project from Marsden Heights Community School in Nelson working with year 10 students. The young people and youth leaders had a tour of the club meeting volunteers before joining our Wednesday lads club sessions of boxing, football and table tennis.
22,500 membership records – We get lots of enquires from people tracing family history and one recently asking about boxing at Salford Lads Club in the early 1900s. Unfortunately we didn’t have a membership record in this case, but the outfits in the photograph are exactly like lads used to wear here for a variety of sports including gymnastics boxing and wrestling. The picture of a boxing class is from the book “working lads club” published in 1908 and shows boys in similar outfits. Boxing was very popular here in 1903 and classes took place in the concert hall. The detailed picture of the concert hall today shows the location of the original corner posts for the boxing ring, which are still visible. Maybe somebody knows about other lads club in Salford who had boxing classes; there were at least 5 other lads clubs, including Irwell Street, Adelphi, Egerton Street, Pendleton and Chapel Street.
Great to see Warren Smith knighted in the New Year’s Honours list. Warren was instrumental in kick-starting our fundraising campaign in 2005 when he was chairman of LPC Living. He became chairman of the club in 2006 and has continued to support us. He is pictured here in 2009 by photographer Stephen Wright. Warren has been the Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester since 2007.
On Saturday we have a record fair and a display of Happy Mondays archive material, including a new video montage from original VHS recordings by the late Derek Ryder. The vidoe which is 1.1 hours long will be shown on 2 screens throughout the day from 10-3pm. Thanks to Linda Ryder and family for this unique archive. If you are coming by car please note, parking around the club is residents only. The event is free.