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Demolition crew brings end to an era

THE end of an era came to Melbourne as the building which was home to the town’s adult education centre – and before that, a youth club that operated five nights a week – was finally raised to the ground to make way for car parking. The writing had been on the wall for the building on Packhorse Road since 2017, when Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet decided it would be knocked down to create extra parking at the infant and junior schools. Asbestos had been discovered in the building. As the demolition crew moved in during the school Easter holidays, those who remember the centre’s heyday as a youth club in the 70s and 80s took to social media to share their memories. When it was up and running, the youth club operated five days a week and ran a wide programme for local teens – from Friday night discos

BYGONE DAYS ... A circus skills class taking place in the youth club.

to self-defence sessions, circus skills and regular five-a-side football. A small entry fee on the door got you in, and then you were free to take part in whatever activities were on offer. Lorraine Dowell, who worked there for 18 years – first as a volunteer, then an ancillary, and then as an assistant youth leader – met her husband, Geoff, in the Melbourne Youth Club, aged 13. “The upstairs television room used to be packed, with people watching UFO (a 1970s scifi series),” she remembers. “We used to have a right laugh.” As a volunteer and then a paid-up member of staff, she said the importance of the club was really to offer somewhere safe for teenagers to enjoy themselves. “It was just sitting there; we were not the parent, people would just talk to the teenagers and the club was just there for them.” Andy Heafield, manager of Melbourne Assembly Rooms, also has happy memories of the club. “Youth Club Days were a great part of growing up as a teenager in Melbourne, there was always something to do,” he recalled. “It was the place to go and meet friends Monday right through to Friday night when the discos “ I did so many activities down there: football, cross-country, table tennis, rock climbing and camping with some absolutely wonderful youth leaders including Bill Flanagan, Bryan Simons, Rosemary Newbury and Stan Bridges. “Something must have rubbed off as I returned as a voluntary worker in 1978/79 prior to gaining qualifications and running my own centre in London's Docklands.” As well as operating as a youth club, the centre was also used for mother and toddler sessions, keep fit classes, as a meeting place for the local NCT group, and it latterly became an adult education centre. – Lucy Stephens

n KEEPING fit and raising money for a good cause at the same time – Melbourne men’s fitness group, “The Fit Fat Blokes”, dipped into their pockets to raise more funds for the Brick by Brick Appeal. The team at Melbourne Assembly Rooms is holding the Brick by Brick appeal to raise money for the refurbishment of the main hall. Different fund-raising events since the launch of the appeal have raised thousands of pounds, and grant money has also been given from the district council towards the refurbishment. The Fit Fat Blokes contributed a further £60 by holding a collection at their weekly fitness sessions in the main hall.

Road alert

DRIVERS, take note: there will be roadworks on the Derby Road in Melbourne between June 5-7, with delays likely. The works are starting at 7pm on June 5 until 6am on June 7, to facilitate flood monitoring equipment and maintenance works.

Village Voice May 2019 7

School break-in blow

A SCHOOL break-in and attempted burglary thought to be linked to the first ever Ticknall village fete has been described as “really upsetting”. The inaugural Ticknall Village May Day fete was held on May 6 and was a huge success with possibly as many as a thousand people turning out to enjoy stalls, food, children’s activities and a dog show. The event had been organised by parents and staff of Dame Catherine Harpur’s School and it raised £3,400 for the school from the café, raffle and dog show. Other village organisations were also able to raise money for themselves on the day. But overnight between 5pm on May 6 and 7.35am the following day, the school suffered a break-in with the back fire door smashed.

It is believed the person or persons responsible were trying to get their hands on the money raised at the fete – but, despite doing some damage inside, they did not manage to do so. Dame Catherine’s had to be shut to children on Tuesday, May 7, while the school spoke to police and worked to secure the property. Head teacher Lorna Harvey said: “It’s a real disappointment that this can happen. As a charity the school heavily relies on fund-raising to support itself. It’s really upsetting knowing that someone would go to these lengths to try and steal money that was to support the children and put a dampener on a fund-raising event that the school and village had worked on together.” For a full report and pictures of the May Day fete, see Page 8.

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Melbourne Village Voice May 2019  

Melbourne Derbyshire Local Newspaper Melbourne Life and times

Melbourne Village Voice May 2019  

Melbourne Derbyshire Local Newspaper Melbourne Life and times

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