Discos at the youth club in Back Lane – by KM

I was more into going to the youth clubs. There were a few available. There used to be a youth club in what was still part of Back Lane but now that area is now called Wiggins Lane. There was a youth club there – variously named. It was a brick building that had been there at least, probably, since the 1940’s or maybe going back to the late 30s. It was a brick building which was immediately behind another wooden building which was the local clinic in Back Lane. There was this Boys’ Club there. We used to do a lot of boxing. A lot of Ham boys became boxers and some did very well. I know one who became an ABA champion from there and did well. The brick building was the boys’ club, also known as the Venturers Club.

I do remember there was a friend of mine, John Medland. Him and I started up a disco when we were only 16 / 17. We used to play the records down at the youth club. Although we started this, my more favourite club was the Lock Road Youth Club that was a mixed youth club for boys and girls and that was in a road, just off a little narrow alley way off of Lock Road, where the doctor’s surgery exists today. Underneath there that was the same footprint as this youth club. That was where we started up a disco. It was pretty useless to start off with but John took it forward. Every Friday night we’d hold a disco night for the local kids down at the youth club in Back Lane. And there were other youth clubs around. We seemed to have different nights for different youth clubs. We would do a couple of nights in the Lock Road Club. There was another one – Barnfield Club in Barnfield Avenue, that comes under Kingston.  I believe St Richards Church, next to St Richards School, they had a youth club going for a little time as indeed there was another youth club held in the crypt of the All Saints Church in Sudbrook Lane. That was the church that never became a church – it was never consecrated. There were a lot of youth clubs to choose from.