Memories Of The Arrochar Youth Club 1945 -1952 >
MEMORIES OF THE ARROCHAR YOUTH CLUB 1945-1952
by Arthur Ross
During the Second World War the Royal Navy were billeted in the Ross Hotel. They erected nissen huts on what is now known as the car park, some of these huts were used for recreation purposes. One hut was used as a picture house and was open to the local people. The youth of the village made good use of it. At the end of hostelries the Navy were withdrawn from Arrochar and the Hotel returned to its owners. This left the youth of the village with nowhere to meet.
Mr Hutton, a supervisor based at the Torpedo Range, and Davy Leishman, seeing this situation, started a Youth Club which was very well attended by the young.
Originally the meeting place was the Church Hall but ‘not everyone’ was made welcome, so Mr Hutton, with thanks to Mrs. Henry of Glenloin, moved it to the Oratory which was situated at the rear of Glenloin House.
Billy Dawson, Alistair Bell, Gus Campbell, ?
,Tommy (Midge) Campbell
Good use was made of these premises with sing songs, games, also the odd game of cards, playing for matches. There was also a cross-country race with the winner being rewarded with a cup. Kenny Bell had made this cup in the Torpedo Range from brass parts recovered from old torpedoes. The names of the winners were engraved on the cup, the last known winner being Jim Bishard. No knowledge of the cup still being in existence is known. (If you know where it is please call or EMAIL us!)
As time passed the club, which had grown in size, required larger premises, the Wee School at Tighness was available having been made redundant in 1947 when transport was made available to take the younger children from Arrochar to the school in Tarbet.
The Wee School building proved to be ideal premises with plenty of room to set up games tables and have the wee dance to Davy Leishman on the accordion. The heating for the building was provided by a stove…………the fuel came by the courtesy of Gus Campbell, Sandy Rhind and Tom Hamilton gathering the coal from the railway line that had fallen off the steam engines on to the side of the railway tracts. This was ideal for the winter months. The stove was also used for making tablet, the cooking pot and all ingredients being supplied by Mr. Hutton. Everyone got a turn at stirring the pot, but when the tablet was set and ready for consumption it went ‘like snow off a dyke’.
As mentioned previously Davy Leishman was a good accordion player and he tried to encourage some of the boys to form a band. My brother Alistair also played the accordion and someone produced a set of drums, however sadly nothing actually came of this.
Coach trips were organised by Mr. Hutton (by now he was affectionately known as Daddy Hutton) to various places in the summer months. The coaches were hired from the local garage owners Jimmy and Alex Cameron, whose garage was next to the old toilets now the site of the Pit Stop Restaurant.
Places such as Butlin's in Ayr, Melrose Abby, Ayr Race Course and North Berwick were some of the places visited while I was a youth club member.
The Youth continued to grow and eventually moved to the Village Hall where there was a badminton court. Thich developed the competitive skills with every one being very keen to win or become better at the game.
Arthur Ross, Tommy Lindsey, Robin Scott, on one of the Youth Club outings.
Below is a photo of the whole ‘gang’ with Daddy Hutton on one of their many trips. If anyone can identify the people in the photo please let the Heritage Group know. Click here to EMAIL US.
Arrochar & Tarbet Youth Club Outing.
In the 1940's there was an annual run organised by the youth club. The last time this was held was 1947. A cup that was presented to the winner annually. Recently the winner of the 1947 run contacted the heritage group. He still has in his possession the very cup that was presented to him in 1947. He has offered to return the cup to the village. We are pleased to announce that we are hoping to resurrect the Cross Country Running Cup once again in 2016. Plans are underway to organise the event and the current holder and winner from 1947 has offered to come up to Arrochar and present the cup to the winner. The provisional date for this event is Saturday 4th June 2016. It will be organised as a fun community event hopefully involving many of the local groups from the area.
If you are interested in taking part, marshalling or sponsoring the event please contact Dawn Gourlay - firstname.lastname@example.org
Watch this space for further details!