"The Chronicles of a Country Parish" - A village appraisal of Sulgrave published in 1995

(Back to Chapter 3 Index)


In 1963 John Easter and John Tucker came to stay at The Thatched House. They thought it would be a good idea to start a youth club in the church hall during the winter months.

It was decided to start one on a Tuesday evening for two hours, and Valerie Henn helped get it started and ran the tuckshop selling drinks, crisps and chocolate wafers. There was table tennis, darts, cards, etc., and pop music being played all evening.

The Youth Club proved to be very popular with a good attendance and Sulgrave youth was joined by the teenagers from Thorpe Mandeville, who quite often walked over.

After the first year, John Easter moved away and then a year later John Tucker also left. During their stay they worked very hard for the village. They helped organise a fete to raise money to build the bus shelter.

Valerie henn continud to run the Youth Club with occasional helpers. After thirteen years it was decided that new blood was needed but unfortunately, nobody was interested and the Youth Club was disbanded.



Sulgrave Youth Club was restarted in 1984, at the request of a number of fraught parents with bored children.

David and Leslie Chalmers and John and Jeanette Guppy were approached on the basis that they were the 'younger' members of the community. The Youth Club was aimed at 11-16 year olds, and met every Friday at 7-9.30pm. Membership at its peak was about 20 children, some coming from Thorpe Mandeville and Culworth.

A number of fund-raising events were held, the most notable being a sponsored cycle ride around the village, starting at the stocks, down Manor Road, up Little Street, across Helmdon Road, up Church Street, and along Park Lane, which is about 1 mile. It was a cold winter's day, and Mrs Prior, of The Stocks, kindly took pity on the marshals, supplying them with much needed mugs of hot tea!

Discos, when affordable, were very popular, and the girls particularly liked to make them fancy-dress events. Popular music of the time was supplied by Madonna, Duran Duran, Frankie goes to Hollywood and Wham.

Unfortunately, due to dwindling membership, (as older children found alternative entertainment), and lack of fund, the Youth Club was forced to close in September 1986. At this time there was no help forthcoming from the Local Authority.



The Sulgrave Youth Club was restarted on January 11th, 1991.

During 1990, a 'Pegasus Bus' (a mobile youth club) had been to the village over a period of time to advise on how to star up a club and provide ideas for activities. Examples were given of the many successful youth clubs in the surrounding villages.

Iaire McCarthy, County Youth Organiser was asked to organise a meeting for all the village youngsters, and a committee was set up:

Tom Greatorix Meredith Christy Robert Henn Tristian Crawshaw

A new committee was voted in after the first six months:

Tom Greatorix Robert Henn Jemma Stacey

The Youth Club was helped by the Parish Council, and strongly supported by others in the village, most notably Rodney Henn, who paid the insurance for the youth club, and Mike and Heather Crawshaw, who donated £50 to allow the club to get started. A tuck shop was started by Robert Henn to bring in some extra funds.

The youth club meets at the Church Hall every other Friday evening between 7.30pm and 10.00pm. During the dark winter months the youth club closes but re-opens in the spring.

The members of the club consist of about 12 boys and 9 girls ranging in age from 11 to 17 years. An agreed age limit was set at 11-18 year olds. It was agreed that only village children could attend, but by consent members could bring friends from other villages.

The activities of the youth club are varied, and include table tennis, listening to music, chatting, playing football outside (weather permitting) and occasionally outside trips, such as ten pin bowling. Some members seem to attend merely to eat and drink! (cans of coke, we hasten to add).

Sulgrave Boy Scouts 1900