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Woolton Youth Centre

Merseyside Youth Association Ltd.
The roots of the present Merseyside Youth Association Ltd. date back to 1911 and the following is a very brief synopsis to record some of its historical connection with Woolton.

Liverpool Union of Clubs for Boys & Young Men
In 1911 members of the Social Improvement & Education Committee, urged on by the foresight and enthusiasm of their secretary, Frederic G. D’Aeth, and Frederick J. Marquis (later Lord Woolton), held a special meeting were they met with representatives from the more prominent boys’ organisations in Liverpool, and the LUCBYM (Liverpool Union of Clubs for Boys & Young Men) was formed. First officers were: President, Roger P Sing; Vice Presidents, (Sir) James P Reynolds and Joseph Parry; Chairman, Rev E M Cooke (Shrewsbury Boys’ Club); Honorary Treasurer, Guy P Holden (Florence Institute); Honorary Secretary, G R Sykes (Gordon Working Lads’ Institute).

Liverpool Holiday Camps
1915 saw the Liverpool Holiday Camps (Inc.) set up, the directors of which were all members of the executive committee of the LUCBYM. They opened a camp, on the 10th July 1915, at the Hinderton estate, Wirral.

Liverpool Union of Boys Clubs
In 1917 LUCBYM changed their title to the Liverpool Union of Boys’ Clubs and by 1925 had purchased land at Fazakerley (Geoffrey Humble ground, Long Lane), Allerton (Heron Eccles Playing Field, Abbotshey Avenue) and Woolton (Simpson ground, Hillfoot Road).

National Association of Boys’ Clubs
Brainchild of Frederic G. D’Aeth, 1924 saw the formation of the National Association of Boys’ Clubs with Mr J Heron Eccles appointed as its first chairman. In 1926 HRH Prince Henry consented to become President with Sir James Reynolds, Bart., DSO, JP, and Mr J Heron Eccles, JP, as Vice-Presidents.

Liverpool Boys’ Association
The Liverpool Holiday Camps (Inc.) and the Liverpool Union of Boys’ Clubs amalgamated in 1925 to become the Liverpool Boys’ Association. The first ever Boys’ Club leader training centre in the country was set up in Upper Parliament Street in a house donated by Harold L Cohen. After modifications the house was formally opened in February 1930 by Mr C Sydney Jones (later Alderman Sir Sydney Jones) High Sheriff of Lancashire.

Merseyside Youth Association Ltd.
The youth movement in Liverpool became even more united with the amalgamation of the Liverpool Boys’ Association and the Liverpool Union of Girls’ & Mixed Clubs (Inc.) in 1959. By special resolution, passed on 4th October 1961, the latter renamed as the Liverpool Union of Youth Clubs (Inc.). On the 8th August 1999 the assets of the Liverpool Boys’ Association and the Liverpool Union of Youth Clubs (Inc.) were transferred together to become the Merseyside Youth Association Ltd., who are presently located at The Door, 65-67 Hanover Street, Liverpool.

Woolton Youth Centre
The Woolton Boys’ Club, High Street, was constituted on the 29th October 1963 (registered with the Charity Commission on 7th April 1964) and on Tuesday, 5th November 1963, before 150 invited guests, the purpose-built Club was opened by Lord Derby (Edward John Stanley, 18th Earl of Derby) who, after being welcomed by the President of the Club, Mr J P Jacobs, performed the ceremony of unveiling a commemorative plaque.

After the unveiling ceremony a vote of thanks was given by Alec Tunnington, OBE, JP, Chairman of the Liverpool Boys’ Association. Bouquets of flowers were presented to the lady guests by 7-year-old Pauline Smith and 13-year-old Jean Search. After refreshments Lord Derby inspected the club premises.

The Club, designed by Messrs. Edmund Kirby & Sons and built by Tysons Ltd., is located within the grounds of Woolton Wood, on High Street. Their next door neighbours were the old age pensioners, later to be known as Age Concern Liverpool, who transferred to Linksview, 102 Vale Road in January 2003.

The Woolton Boys’ Club, which cost £20,000, the fifth to be built in Liverpool within a six months period, was funded from a donation of £156,000 made to the Liverpool Boys’ Association by John Moores (and his Littlewoods Group of Companies), then chairman of Everton Football Club.

Although they are known as the Woolton Youth Centre they have not officially changed their name through the Charity Commission and legally they are still the Woolton Boys’ Club (they are not connected in any way whatsoever with the original Woolton Boys’ Club set up on Vale Road in 1947). This is not through want of trying because the Merseyside Youth Association Ltd., have endeavoured to follow up the name change, on their behalf, for a number of years.






Last updated :: December 2006
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