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Helmdon Historical Articles

Helmdon Youth Club 1974-1986
an article by John Woodhams



The Youth Club Carnival Float
The Youth Club Carnival Float - The
theme was "Top of the Pops".


Jim and Monica Humphrey started the youth club in November 1974 as a result of holding monthly discos for the young people of the village.

The first formal meeting was March 1975 and the first management and members committee meeting took place on 16 April 1975.

The management committee comprised Jim Humphrey (youth club leader) John Woodhams (secretary/treasurer) Harold Seckington (chairman) with Monica Humphrey, Jean Seckington and Pat Woodhams as helpers. On the members committee were Philip Brooks, Christine Russell, Debbie Ewing and Ian Russell.

The first youth club night was in March 1975. The club became affiliated to the National Association of Youth Clubs (Northamptonshire) in May 1975.

Jim Humphrey remained as youth club leader until May 1977 and then I took over in August 1977 and remained leader until May 1986. Both of us attended Club Leadership courses run by the Northamptonshire Association of Youth Clubs.

Other committee members during the twelve-year period of my involvement with the club were Mick Hall, Clive Turnham, Robert y Wilkinson, Mr P. Cohen and Sheila Somerton. Others serving on the members committee were Simon Alfandry, Linda Humphrey, Pauline Humphrey, Tony Humphrey, Helen Jessett, Karl Lidgley, Debbie Marsh, Jennifer Pendry, Brain Somerton, Sara Trumper and David Wilcox.


The Junior Five-A-Side Team
The Junior Five-A-Side Team.
Left to Right: John Wilson, Colin Carruthers,
Duncan Cairns, Ade Swain and Kevin Brock


Our base was the Reading Room, with 43 members in 1974 rising to 82 in 1977. Activities were immensely varied. Indoors we played chess, had film shows, held whist drives, and learnt such things as enamelling, and played table tennis, pool and darts. We held discos in the Reading Room, in a barn, and on one occasion combined the disco with a barbecue.

Outdoor pursuits ranged from archery, basketball, cricket, fishing, football, ice skating, netball, to roller skating, swimming (at Towcester and Banbury), ten pin bowling and rounders. One occasion we tried an assault course at Bicester. Orienteering was very popular. We went by day to Bucknell and Badby Woods, and by night we used map and compass. The Helmdon Nightingales won the "Moonwalk" All-girls' Trophy in 1985, and the youth club was the highest visiting team at "Barnowl" in 1980. In 1982 we held a youth fête and fun sports jointly with Helmdon Scouts, the attendance being over two hundred. The Helmdon Hellraisers (boys) won the moonwalk trophy in 1986.

The Club bought all of its equipment - table tennis tables, pool tables, record, record player and so on, through membership fees and fundraising events. Football strips were also purchased for the teams. The senior football team played friendly matches against the other clubs. The junior team played in the South Northants under-14s league and six-a-side competitions. There was one five-a-side girls' team playing league matches in Northampton, and two boys' five-a-sides playing at Daventry as well as Northampton. The netball team played in the Daventry league


Prior to leaving on the narrowboat holiday on the Grand Union canal.
Prior to leaving on the narrowboat
holiday on the Grand Union canal.


We had many outings to such places as Blackpool (for the lights), to Wembley Arena (to see the Harlem Globe Trotters) and went annually to the sea. The Youth Club also arranged narrow boat holidays. Christmas, of course, was time for a party.

Many charities and organisations benefited from the £1,360 raised by sponsored events and other activities.

John Woodhams

(John served on the South Northants Leaders' forum and South Northants District Forum. He was awarded a Certificate in Recognition of Services to the Young People of South Northants)

Youth Club Members over the years


Lyn Rickatson

Rebecca Russell

Stephanie Wheeler

Kate Lidgley

Rebecca Cairns

Gina South

Shaun Baulch

Sally Brookhouse

Marianne Brotherton

Stephen Brotherton

Justine Butler

Paul Duncombe

Heather Gulliver

Steven Hall

Paul Hirons

Daniel Marsh

Patricia Payne

Andrew Pendry

Carol Smith

William Smith

Michael Wiggins

Fiona Colgate

Jim Docherty

Neal Lyons

Mark Russell

Alison Lyon

Helen Carruthers

David Kimber

David Ramsay

Philip Ramsay

Belinda Chorley

Joanna Chorley

Becky Ewing

Debbie Ewing

Duncan Colgate

Gary Cohen

Timmy Kimber

Matthew Jessett

David Mahon

Linda Oakey

Robert Osborne

Brian Hirons

Shaun Russell

Stuart Russell

Gillian White

Stephen Watson

Mellisa Hirons

Kevin Kilby

Caroline Foster

Donna Trinder

Jane Reardon

Helen Cook

P Washington

S Boileau

Jason Finch

Stephen Snow

Mandy Ayres

Clare Wheeler

Janine Godfrey

Karen Jones

Sarah Mills

Mark Oakey

Elaine Osborne

Caroline Smith

Nicola Smith

Giles Spencer

Jilll Turvey

Alistair Wallis

Maxine Baulch

John Bowen-Jones

Angela Humphrey

Adrian Griffiths

Mike Eliss

Glenys Wilkins

Vince Butler

Barbara Osborne

Tracey Russell

Philip Payne

Andrew Gilmore

Marina Brooks

Catherine Collins

Elizabeth Ponting

Pete Bell

Caron Wiggins

Alicia Brookhouse

D Hunter

Paul Cohen

Mark Coles

David Hirons

Inga Heinaru

Nigel Oakey

Sally Cox

Suzanne Cox

Gary Mears

Andy Spittles

Valerie Beech

David Wilcox

Matthew Waite

Gary Pendry

Tim Kilsby

Trevor Harman

Nigel Pollard

Anthony Gosling

Nicholas Knee

Vincent Beach

Alan Hawkins

Susan Hamston

Jane Blackwell

Jackie Fairclough

Jeanette Fee

Pete Smith

Jamie Wilcox

Andrew Tilstone

Carol Kilby

Dave Rickatson

Lous Bates

Pauline Smith

Michelle Holt

Andrea Pyne

Elizabeth Radcliff

Elena Pyne

Pete Salmons

D Gudgeon

Clare Thame

Sarah Kibble

Ruth Burfitt

Karen Poole

Vicky Whitrow

Tracy Lanagan

Jackie Howlett

Emma Moodie

Ricky Ewing

Peter Somerton

Wendy Humphrey

Jamie Possinger

Pauline Humphrey

Philip Brooks

Deanne Wiggins

Suzanne Davis

Linda Humphrey

Jackie Wilkins

Belinda Wilkins

Pamela Wilkins

Deborah Marsh

Carl Prestige

Julia Chorley

B Cooke

Diana Brooks

Penny Law

Mandy Brooks

P Bennett

Christine Russell

Stuart Davis

Helen Jessett

Yvonne Oakey

M Jenner

John Brooks

Jeanette Russell

Brian Somerton

G Hollyoake

Pete Johnson

Caroline Brooks

Gillian Russell

Bruce Maconochie

Ian Russell

Simon Maconochie

Susan Ponting

Graham Oakey

Neil Russell

Nicholas Wiggins

Mark Alfandry

Tony Humphrey

Gary Somerton

Hazel Gulliver

Duncan Cairns

Graham Ayres

Jonathan Ayres

Kevin Brock

Jason Holt

Donna England

Gavin England

Darren Hensley

Richard Russell

Andrew McCarthy

Jennifer Pendry

Emma Prestidge

Darren Swain

Alberta Shawcross

Scott South

Adrian Swain

Simon Upstone

Paul Sykes

Sara Trumper

Tim Trumper

Michael Rickatson

John Wilson

Karl Lidgley

Gervaise Andrews

Shaun Oliver

Patrick South

Simon Alfandry

Craig Beech

Paul Brock

Martin Gulliver

Colin Carruthers

Justin Andrews

M Jenner

Alan Carruthers

Anne Duncombe

Audrey Brooks

Howard Jessett

R Budd

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