Past Times: Youth club is now “mixed”

From The Shetland Times, Friday 3rd November, 1961

Youth club is now “mixed”

Islesburgh Youth Club, until now an exclusively male preserve, has thrown its membership open to the female sex, and already quite a few teenagers have joined.

At the annual meeting of the club, a new committee was formed consisting of the chairman, Mr Charles Moar; club leader, Mr Harold Leask; John Watt, Gilbert Blance, Stanley Sinclair, and Campbell Johnson.

The club’s membership swings between sixty and seventy, and it is completely self-supporting. It was noted with satisfaction that the club had donated £45 to the House funds last year, while a further £25 was put into the club’s own reserve fund.

Two innovations are proposed for this session – a junior bridge group, with Mr Moar as tutor, and a pop record club, for which a record player is to be acquired. The required equipment will be provided from club funds, with no appeal to the Education Committee for assistance.

The usual activities will also be carried on – 500 drives, table tennis, billiards, and so on. In fact, the club would welcome competitive events against any other club, youth or adult, in the table tennis or billiards’ sphere, in Lerwick or within reasonable distance of the town. The members are also prepared to lend their coaching services to clubs starting table tennis.


More news from the youth front. There was a big turnout of enthusiastic youngsters at the meeting called to form an Athletic Club.

It was decided to go ahead, and to make application to the T.A. Association for use of their hall and the tarmac square for training purposes, and to ask the Education Committee for a grant to help provide portable floodlights, so that outdoor training can carry on during the dark nights.

The activities will be under the general supervision of P.T. teacher, Mr Reggie Williamson, but twelve adults have volunteered to be trained as coaches. The intention is that at the end of this season a one week’s course for the coaches will be run locally by the chief coach of the S.A.A.A., who at the moment is Mr H. A. L. Chapman. At the end of the course they will sit an examination.


Another youth item – a photographic group has been started at the A.E.I., under the supervision of art master Mr C. W. Forret.

The group are hoping that the Education Committee will assist them by providing suitable facilities in the school About 25 pupils have indicated their interest in the project.


From The Shetland Times, Friday 24th November 1961

Modern youth centre for Scalloway

Scalloway’s strong community spirit, which has provided the village with so many amenities in recent years, has now been harnessed to a new and imaginative project – the conversion of a former contractor’s workshop into a modern youth centre. And Shetland Education Committee decided on Monday night to back the scheme financially.

The Scalloway Youth Centre is the brain-child of the parish minister, the Rev. R. McConnell, who saw the possibilities of converting premises which were formerly occupied by Messrs T. Smith & Sons. He had the solid backing of his kirk session who allocated a considerable sum for the purchase of the building and he has had no difficulty in finding volunteers to start work on the work of conversion.

Twelve to fifteen men are giving their labour on two nights each week to carry out the first stage of the scheme – the conversion of the main floor into a hall. This involves raising the ceiling and rafters to give sufficient height for badminton, but the hall will also be available for meetings of all the local youth organisations.

To carry the scheme forward, however, money is needed for materials and the Education Committee’s response to an appeal from Tingwall Kirk Session was immediate – they will get £500 and an application will go to the Education Department for a further grant under the Youth Service Scheme.

Next summer it is likely that the Scalloway voluntary workers will be temporarily reinforced by a party from the north-east of Scotland. Mr Jim Bowes, Church of Scotland youth organiser for the north-east, visited Shetland last summer and gave the Scalloway people much good advice. Next July he hopes to return with a party of up to 24 young people who will live in the youth centre and combine an island holiday with some practical work on the premises.


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