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Moor Road Youth Club

1965 Carnival
Paul Smith, Alan Wilmer, Steve Turnock

1965 1966
1965 Carnival Float
1966 Carnival Float

The Rushden Echo, 19th April 1963, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Youth centre in need of premises

Some activities organised by Rushden Youth Centre may have to be discontinued for a year, unless alternative accommodation can be found for their meetings while the centre is undergoing alterations.

The Youth Committee, which runs the centre, has written letters to various organisations and churches asking for permission to use part of their premises while the work is being carried out.

The work is scheduled to be finished by March, 1964 and Mr. H. W. Catlin, chairman of the committee, told an “Echo” reporter that he hoped all the usual activities which take place at the centre will be able to continue.

The re-modelling of the centre is the first of its type in the county; the County Education Department is bringing the centre up to the standards laid down by the Ministry of Education. The work is to cost about £13,400.

Architect's drawing
Architect's drawing
The remodelled building is to comprise a series of linked spaces, which, by the use of partial and removable screens, lend themselves to the varied activities of the club life.

This open planning is aimed at making the member feel that he or she is related to, and aware of, all the activities of the club, and will enable the leader to circulate freely.

The main entrance, with its covered canopy, is to lead through glazed doors to the reception counter, staffed by members, where business details, such as registrations and subscriptions, will be dealt with.

Also in the reception area a large well-lighted information board will be installed, covering the whole range of the centre’s activities.

A leader’s room is to be provided off the reception area and will be visible through a glazed screen.

Cloakrooms with shower facilities will be provided and can be used as dressing rooms for stage plays.

Powder Room

A feature of the girls’ cloakroom will be a powder room, with dressing tables and full-length mirrors which could also be used for hairdressing and make-up demonstrations.

A stage area is basically planned as another linked club area at a higher floor level, and will provide a raised platform for jazz groups, fashion parades and stage plays.

A coffee bar will be a focal point and will be linked to the kitchen with a double sink unit, cooker and modern kitchen fitments. The bar area will have stools with tables and chairs adjacent to a small informal dancing area.

There are two areas provided for practical activities. The area for boys will have both fixed and removable benches where handicraft instruction will be given and the girl’s area will have a layout suitable for instruction in needlework and dress-making.

Architects are Talbot Brown, Panter and Partners, of Wellingborough, and the builders G. T. Kemshead Ltd.

The Rushden Echo, 29th May 1964, transcribed by Jim Hollis

Youth Centre re-opened at Rushden

The doors of Rushden Moor Road Youth Centre, closed in recent months while modernisation was carried out, were re-opened on Tuesday for a meeting of Rushden Youth Club.

The opening was unofficial, since there are several jobs still to be done. The most important is the fitting of a coffee bar, which will probably become a focal point of the centre.

The main occupiers of the modernised building, Rushden Youth Club, will meet there twice a week. Every youth organisation in the town will be able to apply for the use of the centre, which is in the charge of Miss M. Tupholme, Wellingborough and District Youth Organiser.

Judo classes, drama, small boat-making, cycling and boxing will be the chief activities at the centre during the next few months. Later it is hoped to expand the range, but it has not been decided what the other activities will be.


Some specialised activity for girls is planned and another idea is to hold meetings on Sunday evenings at regular intervals to listen to a guest speaker.

Mr. G. Norris, supervisor of the youth club, was more than pleased with the results of the enrolment. More than sixty young people registered, including a major part of the previous membership. Some from out of town arrived to apply for membership.

The architect for the changes has been Mr. J. A. Ward, of Talbot Brown, Panter and Partners, Wellingborough, and the builders were G. T. Kemshead Ltd., also of Wellingborough.

Janet & Jackie Linda signs on Washing up
In the new powder room:
Janet Frasie and Jackie Case
Linda Harris signs on as a member
Jill Watts and Jean Bantin wash up

The modernisation has cost about £13,000 and for that money the old centre building has been converted into a place which contains almost every amenity.

Basically, the centre has one large L-shaped room which can be partitioned off, leading off are a committee room, carpentry shop, kitchen and office.

A stage has been installed and there are also showers and plenty of storage space.

By the time the official opening is due in the autumn, it is hoped that all the activities will be running smoothly.

Tomorrow will see the first big event at the centre – the carnival queen selection dance.

From the Moor Road Centre Centenary Booklet 1989

Youth Leaders at Moor Road Centre

In the early days of Moor Road Youth Club there were no full time staff but there were part time adult 'supervisors'. The first of these was Graham Norris, who was followed in this vital support role by Roy Tomlin. Regrettably there was insufficient time for researching these notes to contact them to record what I am sure would have been interesting memories!

The demand for the Youth Centre facilities and its popularity with young people locally led to the appointment of the first full time leader. This was in 1967 when David Baker took up the post and he stayed at the club until 1969 when Bill Fry took over.

By all accounts Bill was something of a character, he even stayed at the centre when he first arrived and enjoyed a good cooked breakfast in the kitchen most mornings! He was very popular with both the members and the staff.

Around 1972 Bill moved on to fame and fortune in Shropshire and his place was taken by Richard Bradbeer who took the club capably through the rest of the 70's.

In 1980 Arthur De'Ath took over at the centre although he was involved locally in an area worker capacity as well as overseeing the running of the youth centre. When Arthur became Area Team leader in 1987 the reign of the full time youth leader at Moor Road was over.

The future was then essentially in the hands of the part time staff team, very ably led by Kathy Iliffe (who was now, and still is, Leader in Charge). Kathy is another of the part-time staff who have given their all over the years and should be congratulated (together with her team of voluntary and part-time staff) in keeping the club going through good and bad times!

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