New leader appointed for Wallsend Boys’ Club.
In December 1965 the club committee appointed a new full-time leader for Wallsend Boy’s’ Club, 28 year old Dave Beardall. The interviews for the appointment took place at Swan Hunter’s since the club building was incomplete. Once appointed the new club leader, along with Wally Telfer who was Development Officer for the NABC, had the task of spending a grant of £2500 allocated by the Department of Education and Science on equipment and furnishings.
Among the equipment bought early on were a full-size judo mat and cover, boxing equipment, a trampoline, three table tennis tables, nets and bats. Furnishings such as tables, chairs, desks and curtains were also acquired.
By May 1966 the club was able to unofficially open for business, though still not completely finished off. After the years in abeyance it was probably not surprising that there were only twenty boys in attendance on that first night.
But the club soon built up a momentum again, not least because the facilities were far ahead of those of any other club of its type. By the end of the month there were enough members to start a judo class led by George Oughton. This in turn attracted more boys, and enrolment for membership opened on June 1st1965. Applicants had to be between the ages of 14 and 21. By July 1966.
The club had 200 members and Dave Beardall was quoted in the local press as saying that everything was “proceeding very satisfactorily.” One of the particularly memorable events to take place in that month was a gathering of club members and leaders on July 30thto watch England win the world cup around a borrowed TV set in the club.
During these first weeks a committee of club members was formed, one of whose first challenges – and an on-going one- was to raise funds for the club.