During my childhood from about 7 or 8 years old to about 16 years old, I spent many happy times at Burlington Hall, which was situated in the high street, aston towards where the No. 8 bus crossed from Park Lane to Whitehouse Street.
It was a very large building with a large polished wood staircase leading to two upper floors - I have never found its origional purpose, who owned it etc. The leaders were Bob and Nellie Slack who lived with their son John and daughter (I cant remember her name), on the premises. Their living quaters were reached through a passage leading from the snooker room at the rear of the ground floor, and the front door was in Park Lane.
In later years Horace Holder(?) became leader. They allowed older teenage girls to have baths on, I think friday nights, as hardly anyone had bathrooms and was far nicer than using the tin baths in front of the fire or in a cold back kitchen.
There were many activities depending on age groups, when I first started we played games in a large room on the first floor which had a stage at one end, and I recall we regularly put on plays, the only one I clearly remember was "The Wedding of the Painted Doll". I believe this won 1st prize in a competition among other youth clubs.
We also had sewing classes for girls run by EUNIcE? in a small side room off the main hall, we made blue and white check drawstring bags for toiletries.
In later years we had a coffee/tea bar set up in the room to the left of the main entrance, and we had a rota to serve and wash up. The boys loved the snooker, and we girls used to go in and pester them. as teenagers we had dances. I believe there was also sports teams but I wasnt interested in sport.
The highlights were the camps which were set up for about 6 weeks in the summer,
by older youths and some parents.
I went to three Goodington sands, Devon, Mort Hoe, North Devon, where one night there was a terrific thunderstorm, thunder, lightening, heavy rain, and strong winds which blew some of the tents down, and so we were taken to a church hall for the rest of the night, together with our straw palliases, what chaos, some of them were wet so we paired up two to a bed. The last camp we went to was corton, Lowestoft, in 1952 The cost per child was two guineas £2.2s (Two pounds, two shillings) old money for a fornight, including travel.
We would assemble on a friday at our club, with our parents and would always use Black and White coaches from Harvington, Worcs. We travelled through the night, and when we arrived on saturday, the coach would bring the previous fortnights campers back. We all had to muck in and help with the chores, quite a few parents would come with the whole family and help run the camp. a good cheap holiday. We had wonderfull times and if I had a choice between going to camp or a holiday with my parents, I chose the camp.