Wallsend Boys Club...Helping Young People to Reach Their Potential
By

KMC-devONIT

01
Jan

Summer Camping trips for the Boys’ Club

During the war years there was an Army Cadet Corps based at the Boys’ Club run by Sergeant Major George Wilson. To encourage the boys to ‘knuckle down’, he would give some of his junior soldiers “rankings” within the Cadet Corps. Jack Carruthers was elevated to the three stripes of a sergeant. One weekend the Cadet Corps sent a group of members to the rifle rage at Ponteland which was run by full time army staff. Jack was among the lads sent there and on arrival all the juniors had to stand on parade to meet the commanding officer. The...
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21
Jan

The early days, Boxing took center stage

Although Wallsend Boys’ club is now associated so strongly with football, it is clear that the club begun in 1938, had a very wide range of activities. These took place under the leadership of Ernest “Sandy” Laws who was club leader from 1938 to 1952. Founder member Jimmy McBlain recalls that in 1938 subscription fees for the new Wallsend Boys’ Club was 1d (one old penny). When war came in September 1939 the Boys’ club continued to meet, undoubtedly providing some much needed light relief for those involved with it, although inevitably being touched with tragedy at times when members...
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13
Apr

The official opening of Wallsend Boys’ Club

On April 13th 1939, some months after opening its doors to members, the club was officially launched. The ceremony was carried out by the Duchess of Northumberland in the presence of local dignitaries and guests. Mr Sheriton Clements Swan, president of the club, presided over the large gathering. In his introduction to the president, Mr Pearson (club secretary and a Swan Hunter employee) said that he was sure that Sheriton, would not just be a president in name because the association of the firm with the club was a very real one. This was certainly true. Not only had Swan’s...
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10
Apr

The birth of Wallsend Boys’ Club

The official history of Wallsend Boys’ Club starts in the years of the Great Depression in Wallsend. Like many areas of the country, Wallsend had had rough times in the twenty years after World War I ended. The 1920s had seen the slow collapse of old industries like coal mining and shipbuilding, and of course there had been industrial unrest with the General Strike taking place in 1926. This situation wasn’t unique to Wallsend of course, so in the mid-1930s the government started to identify areas where they feared high unemployment rates were having an adverse effect on young men,...
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14
Nov

The beginning of clubs for boys

The beginning of clubs for boys (the fore runner to Wallsend Boys’ Club). In 1883 George Burton Hunter built the ‘Wallsend Café’ on the south west corner of the junction of Station Road and the High Street. His purpose in providing this facility was to encourage his twin interests in temperance and education. Young apprentices from the shipyard were particularly encouraged to use these educational facilities. By the turn of the century this commitment to the welfare of the apprentices had taken another turn, with a Boys’ Club being opened officially on November 14th1904. The club had two rooms which...
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