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The Origins of Hinckley Club For Young People – Chairman and Ex-Boys Club Member and Local Donor Share Some History

By David Abbott (Ex-Boys Club Member Brame Road)

I have volunteered to come forward with information regarding the original Boys’ Club founded by Tom Towers which has of course evolved into this present Hinckley Club 4 Young People. Also in view of my indebtedness as a youth to the Boys’ Club Movement have forwarded a £1000 cheque to help present club finances, mainly in the hope that others may well follow suit, particularly local businesses and perhaps some former members.

The original club was formed in the late 1950s and was located in Brame Road: situated way back from where the road is today and immediate to conifers that bordered land which was the possession of the Atkins family of hosiery manufactures. The somewhat palatial family home later became The Steering Wheel Hotel. Indeed at the time Brame Road was something of a wide cinder track though there were some houses and much of the upper part was a field extending down beyond the top of King Richard Road.

The actual club was a large wooden hut consisting of two large rooms: the first on entry containing a more or less full size snooker table and the other something of a members lounge with arm chairs, television and piano. And at the time the main sport was gymnastics which took place every Wednesday evening in the Hall of Middlefield Junior School. Indeed I used to attend this from the age of eight. Also members would look forward to an annual camp which took place at Barmouth in North Wales. Both gymnastics and the annual camp at Barmouth became part of a tradition which played a central part in life at the new club built in Stoke Road. As regards the gymnastics we entertained crowds for some years at summer fetes with our somewhat military styled performances which even included somersaulting the box both width and lengthways.

This new all brick building club was built partly by the help of members, a number being accomplished tradesman. In any case it was in place at the beginning of the 1960s, opened by ace former distinguished fighter pilots Douglas Bader and Johnnie Johnson. Indeed photos of this momentous event had featured in this paper at the time and have also reappeared more recently in the nostalgia section. Also recorded in this paper in the early 1960s was the fund raising visit of Frankie Vaughan, famous singing celebrity star who had performed as the principle act at The Sunday Night at the London Palladium. He came to The George Ballroom to host a fashion show for women. Indeed he was very much a promoter of the Boys’ Club movement as he felt that at one time in his life-reckon it was in Liverpool- he could well have gone off the rails had it not been for his local club. Frankie later became president of The National Boys Club, doing all he could to promote the clubs in general.

The Stoke Road Club had a large hall which was used primarily for gymnastics, table tennis and 3 or 4-a-side football. Another large room was basically for members to relax and socialize and there was a quiet room where committee meetings were held though members could go there for a bit of peace and quiet: in theory at least. Changing rooms, showers and a somewhat large canteen complemented the larger areas. The vast field outside enabled us to play football, initially in the South Leicestershire league and later in Nuneaton Leagues. In any case there were plenty of inter -sport competitions between the various Boys’ Clubs in Leicestershire: Blaby and Eyres Monsell in particular come to mind. Cross-country running was very much promoted.

The Club’s success spanned well over 50 years, which included allowing Girls to join in the 1970’s, but like any building; wear and tear, escalating costs, new legislation and compliance inevitably resulted in its sustainability becoming a very real concern. During the 2000’s the Club’s Management Committee in collaborative working with Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council, Young Leicestershire (then known as ‘Leicestershire Clubs For Young People’) and MyPlace (Big Lottery) worked on a project to rejuvenate a fun, safe and modern place for Young People to come to; and GreenTowers Hinckley Club For Young People was born. In November 2008 the project was awarded 6.7 million to build a world-class facility on Richmond Park off Tudor Road, just a stone’s throw away from the old Boys Club. The name ‘GreenTowers’ was a respectful acknowledgement of Tom Towers the founder of the original Club and the current Chair Reg Green of Hinckley Club For Young People, Reg commented

“I first met Tom Towers in 1953 when I joined the Club situated in Brame Road. Later I continued my affiliation at the Stoke Road Club as a Member, though after the Club had had several fulltime leaders Mr John Reekie, Chairman, who was also Managing Director of Sketchley Cleaners, came to me with the suggestion that the Senior Members take over the running of the Club on a Voluntary basis. These Members consisted of my brother Rhett Green, Steve Hopewell, Peter Basford, Robert Broughton, and Ron Scotton. Together we ran the Club for some months, which proved to be challenging, so the Chairman asked that one of the Senior Members should take over the Leadership. They chose me and as such I continued to run the Stoke Road Club until its closure in 2010. Since then I have been a Senior Leader and Chairman at our new location on Richmond Park ie the Hinckley Club For Young People”.

The new Club, GreenTowers Hinckley Club For Young People opened it’s doors to the Community in October 2010, achieving a number of very steep milestones; in the first 3 months it had achieved its first 1000 Young Members and by the end of 2019 this will have risen to 6500. Around 700 Young People regularly frequent the facilities and activities on offer during the week, offerings include; Sports, Wall Climbing, Fitness, Music, Arts and Crafts, BMX, Skating, Gaming (Pool, Snooker, Table Tennis). The Club also has a thriving Youth Hub where the Young People can eat/drink and socialise. The Youth Club operates every Monday to Friday 6-9pm (for 8 to 19 year olds, on a Thursday for ages up to School Year 9 only) and on Saturday afternoons 12-3pm, a session open to families. The Youth Club is operated by Responsible Leaders and a team of dedicated Volunteers, who are amazing. The building has been designed to reflect the need of the Community and during the day it is open to Businesses, Clubs, Associations, Schools and the General Public offering classes such as; Dance, Fitness, Martial Arts, Sports; and for Functions, Conferences, Weddings, Parties, Wakes.

For enquires and donations the operations team at GreenTowers Hinckley Club For Young People can be contacted on 01455 230468 office@greentowers.co.uk visit www.greentowers.co.uk


See Whats Going On. Visit Centre and Youth Club News Pages For More Details

Upcoming Events

Knife Safety/Crime Support Sessions (October and November)

With recent events in mind we at GreenTowers Hinckley Club For Young People will be running a number of half-hour sessions on knife safety/crime with Andy Shuttleworth. Andy is a Senior Scout Leader and Ex-Police Officer and has worked with Young People and has undertaken talks on the subject for a number of years.
This is hard hitting yet a massively important message that we feel should be shared to try and prevent further incidents within the Town of Hinckley and surrounding areas within the Borough. During the session/s there will be graphic images of injuries sustained from knives, and there will also be a demonstration of knife safety and the correct environment in which to use knives. These sessions will be open to Young People and Parents/Carers (each session will be limited to 30 people, the first being at 8.00pm on Friday 25th October at GreenTowers). If you are a Parent/Carer and wish for your son/daughter to attend a session then a Consent Form will be required and these will be available from Reception at GreenTowers from Tuesday 15th October.

Christmas Fayre – Saturday 14th December 12.00noon

Hinckley & Rugby Building Society Donation

Hinckley and Rugby Building Society have moved their Head Office Premises, vacating their old Upper Bond Street location. As part of the clear down H&R have donated various office equipment to local charities. Hinckley Club For Young People were delighted to receive new meeting room tables and chairs, office tables and chairs. Thank you to Lorraine and everyone at H&R for the very kind donation, all will be well used and were very much needed.

Old Hinckley Boys Club Members Share Memories and Raise Money for Young People

A huge thank you to these wonderful people Lorraine and Russell Dean, and everyone who celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary at Hinckley Club For Young People on Saturday 16th March. Lorraine and Russell raised £338 for the Young People at the Club, and with the fantastic support of Jason at Hinckley Halfords we have purchased 21 New Bike/Skate Helmets, a Super Bike Pump and a Bike Maintenance Kit…your generosity is just amazing, thank you from all at GreenTowers Hinckley Club For Young People.

Being a Volunteer

81% of Volunteers give help locally

Visit our Youth Club News page for the latest on what’s going on for Young People at GreenTowers

Dance and Fitness

Strictly Fun Dance 10.00am to 11.00am and Let’s Dance 08.00pm to 9.00pm Monday’s at GreenTowers

Dance Styles: Cha-Cha, Tango, Mambo, Jive, Charleston and more!

No partner required * simple * low impact * dance exercise routines * suitable for all ages and abilities

Contact Elaine Atkins (IDTA) on 01455 840052 or 07811 632779

email: dandeatkins@yahoo.co.uk

Plus 6 week course ‘Learn to Jive’ starts October 30th. BOOK NOW with Elaine Atkins

Street Mix Dance Academy

Tuesdays and Fridays at GreenTowers Hinckley Club For Young People Come join in the fun! Call / Text Helen to book 07885 992541

3G/Astro Pitches for Hire

3G Pitch

Hinckley Club For Young People’s new 3G/Astro Turf Pitches are available for bookings. Contact the Office on 01455 230468 office@greentowers.co.uk

Corporate Business Facilities Hire

GreenTowers, Hinckley Club For Young People have a variety of activity areas, Meeting and Conference Room’s ready and available for hire. So if you are a Training/Qualification/Service Provider looking for a mix of classroom and activity space, a Business in search of employee activity/team building days, or possibly a Sports/Recreational/Community Club needing additional facilities; then contact 01455 230468 office@greentowers.co.uk www.greentowers.co,uk

GreenTowers Flyer Page 2

Free Youth Club Basketball Sessions

Kids Basketball Hinckley

Basketball for Young People during Youth Club every Friday 6.30pm to 7.30pm. Coaching and Games, no additional costs just £1.50 for Members (£3.00 for Guests)

Mini Dribblers Football Every Thursday

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Mini Dribblers football every Thursday 5.30pm to 6.30pm £2.00 per session for 3 to 5 year olds. For more details call the office on 01455 230468 or email office@greentowers.co.uk

Indoor Climbing Awards for Young People

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We are proud to announce that 100 Young People over the past 24 months have completed either their Climbing Level 1 or Level 1&2 NICAS Awards this year alone. A huge thank you to the Hinckley and Bosworth Voluntary & Community Sector funding which has allowed ourselves to complete this for the Young People. We are delighted to announce that with the help of VCS Funding in 2019 we will once again be able to deliver another year of NICAS qualifications for Young People

See our Club News Page for the latest Youth Club activities, including Wall Climbing and NICAS awards

Also we have regular external classes throughout the week including; GreenTowers FC Hinckley Grassroots Football, Hinckley Basketball Club, Slimming World, Walking Football For Over 50s, PKA Kick Boxing, Music with Mummy, Strictly Fun Dance, Lets Dance, Hinckley Running Club,  Street Mix Dance Group, Martial Arts Mastery, Maverick Freestyle The Black Belt Academy

In the day we offer activity, meeting and office space for hire. School and Children Party packages too

Booking for Christmas Now Being Taken

We offer a fabulous Function Suite available for Weddings, Parties, Special Occasions, Charity Events

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 for further details visit our hire page or

PLEASE CALL 01455 230468 E-MAIL office@greentowers.co.uk

Youth Club Membership 

Annual Membership and Renewal Prices – £10.00

Daily Session Subs for Members – £1.50

Daily Session Subs for Guests – £3.00

Hinckley Club For Young People Statement

Hinckley Club For Young People as a non-for-profit charity facilitates community projects, businesses, academic establishments, sports and recreational users during the day and evening. It also provides evening Youth Sessions for Young People to participate in, allowing them to spend time with their friends. The centre is operated by staff and volunteers, who give their own time, wishing to put something back in to the community.

Policies and Procedures are scrutinised by our auditors Jelf Risk Management, and provide our Health & Safety Management services. Our Youth Staff on an evening carry current DBS checks, safe guarding training, first aid and fire marshal competence. All staff receive personal health and safety booklets annually for which they sign for as read, and risk assessments as well as operational standard procedures are undertaken for activities and basic duties reviewed by the internal IOSH trained Managing Safely Officer and externally by Jelf Risk Management. Accident forms and incident forms are completed for all those reported on site and held accordingly. Health & Safety and Environmental statements are reviewed annually and are on display to the centre’s users.

Club polices including; safe guarding and child protection, harassment, grievance, bullying, drugs and alcohol are held on site and reviewed/managed by our Welfare Officer. Club rules and procedures, including GDPR privacy notices are written on membership forms and displayed in all prominent areas of the centre.

Any concerns in relation to the use of Richmond Park, including anti-social behaviour, drugs and alcohol use (adjacent to our Club) should be reported to the local authorities (Police and Council). Hinckley Club For Young People have no authority or responsibility in events that take place outside of its perimeter.

CCTV surveillance on site supports the security of the building, its staff, volunteers and users/members.

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General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

Privacy Notices in relation to Club Membership are supplied to all New and Renewing Members. Notices are on display around the Centre and can forwarded upon request. Please contact the Office on 01455 230468 office@greentowers.co.uk

For more information about GDPR visit the ICO at www.ico.org.uk

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Hinckley Club 4 Young People at Green Towers