Captain L. J. Lawrence
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Roger, firstly a massive well done for producing a great and much deserved acknowledgement of your Dad's enormous commitment and achievement in running the highly successful DYC. A youth club we were all enormously proud to be members of and a club very much envied by members of all other youth clubs in the Essex area. The Youth Club period around the mid to late 60’s was a very special time for many of us being teenagers living in or close to Dunmow, I believe at the time there was something in the order of 200 + members. Capt. Lawrence was fully respected by all, Roger, you can rightly be very proud of him. I’m sure he wasn’t aware of all the going’s on and I guess must have turned a blind eye to some he was, however, he managed to maintain a strict but very cheerful regime and provided a great place for us, as teenagers, to meet. Together with Capt. Lawrence, John Letch, Tony Margraves, Michelle Brown, Roger and others, various outings were organised to include, visits to other youth clubs, weekends at Wickham Bonhunt with Guest speakers and the odd visit to the local pub, the very popular Danbury Youth Camps, (The Danbury Youth Camps is extra special for Anne and myself as it was at one of these weekends where it all started for us) Football and Netball matchers with other clubs, Table tennis teams playing in the Braintree League and Parties/ disco’s and Latin & Ballroom dancing at the centre. A very memorable annual event which many of us greatly enjoyed was to raise money by Carol singing, arranging and helping with and the Christmas Party for the underprivileged children from the area and the local children’s home in New Street. Another event I remember being involved in (which I believe was set up by Roger) was the challenge to see, in pairs, how fast we could hitch hike to Scotland and back. I teamed up Chris (Hoy), and we managed to get to Edinburgh and back – I remember us thinking we had done quite well to average something like 19 MPH, however, to find Roger with partner Dennis Harll had won achieving around the low 20’s MPH.
My first time here, my gran lived next door to Captain Lawrence, a very fine man!
What a lovely site. So many familiar names and faces. Was lovely to read a bit more history of the town, and was also able to connect to some friends to let them know their family members are shown/mentioned too.
How lucky we were to have this well run facility… remember the table tennis and the dancing… always something to look forward to… What a great service to the youth of Dunmow.
Roger what a great read. brought back some wonderful memories of those important teenage years when we all need some adult guidance. i recall the years i worked with your Dad at the Dunmow Flitch, he was somebody to be respected and difficult to make laugh- however i recall managing this on many occasions and to see/hear his belly laughs were something to behold. i also recall one of his favourite sayings when referring to us boys " you were not angels but certainly not devils" in addition to the many entries you have there are two omission that i feel should be recalled, firstly encouraged by your Dad and organised by you we were set a challenge, travelling in pairs to see who could hitch hike the farthest and quickest time, post cards were to be sent from the point reached and posted back to the youth centre, i remember pairing up with Norman Gill he and i made it to Scotlands Fourth Bridge, we came 2nd to yours truly by a matter of a few hours. secondly in the latter days a Major Bob Maslen-Jones came on the scene. he would organise long weekend trips to Snowdonia for walking/climbing/drinking many times arriving in the middle of the night and welcomed by typical Welsh rain pitching tents in the dark and would wake up in the mornings surrounded by sheep and drenched. great camaraderie. I feel so privileged to have known your dad, family and for the guidance provided by the leaders and for the many friends made and good times had. Thanks
Well done Uncle Roger! Way to go in pulling this all together and the help you got from everyone. I believe Grandad would appreciate and love this site.
Hi Roger- a good read, I have some old table tennis photos and News Paper articals on the Youth Centre I will try and find from the 60/70s when I played with Cec Butcher. Dean
Thanks Roger, this all looks good and well presented, congratulation.