Dancing back the years

Images of Yesteryear'KEVI pupils held a fund-raising disco in January 1987 as  you can probably tell by the fashion!
Images of Yesteryear'KEVI pupils held a fund-raising disco in January 1987 as you can probably tell by the fashion!

OUR old picture of a fund-raising disco brought happy memories flooding back for a former Morpeth youth worker.

Alex Robinson was a community tutor at King Edward VI School (KEVI) during the 1980s and ran the Morpeth Youth Association.

So he was delighted to see our picture of members of the group in 1987.

And while he could not immediately put names to the faces, he instantly recognised them and had many tales to tell.

“The picture brought back a lot of memories,” said Mr Robinson.

“I can’t put names to the faces immediately, but I will do eventually. I recognised the faces immediately. They were a wonderful lot.”

The picture was taken in the youth centre, which became the headquarters of Morpeth Youth Association after the building was converted from a disused dining room.

Mr Robinson said: “Part of the work I initiated was the conversion of the old canteen to the youth centre. It took us a bit of time and we spent the first few weeks and months decorating it to make it habitable, but it was worth it and it is still running now.

“We used to go away to Netherton Centre, run by the council, where we would plan projects for the youth association for the coming year. Over the years we did all sorts of things, we were quite active.

“The highlight was when we got invited to Pebble Mill because the young people had won a national competition for youth projects. This particular one started when we got hold of a caravan and did it up and equipped it with all the camping gear and outdoor equipment. The plan was that this caravan could be used by any group in Northumberland. They could come along and link it up and go anywhere they wanted.

“We did that once at Grassington. We went with some sixth form students who looked after some children from the Delaval Road school in Newcastle.”

The award was just one of several won by the group, whose projects were as varied as erecting and maintaining dozens of hanging baskets in Sanderson Arcade as part of Clean Up Morpeth, to forming the Northumberland County Canoe Rescue Association.

There were also football, hockey and gymnastic sessions for under 13s and joint working with other organisations, such as the Scouts, Boys’ Brigade and Soroptimisits.

“I can remember having clubs and associations of all sorts at the youth centre,” said Mr Robinson.

“There were about six or seven sheds, which were the result of groups of people coming to me and wanting to develop a sport or an activity. One of them was used for a car maintenance project and we had a garage that people could use at weekends or other times to maintain or build vehicles. That was quite a successful project.”

He added: “As a group, they were involved in all sorts of things. It was really a superb group.”

Mr Robinson retired in 1990.