The Victory Club
The Victory Club
From the September 2005 issue of the Walkern Journal
Your May issue of Walkern Journal brought back many happy memories when it was mentioned that in May 1945 the victory celebrations were organised by Mr Donald Richardson. I remember how he set up an amplifier on the wall of the Post Office (which was then on the corner of Froghall Lane) and played music for everyone to dance in the street. That day had been a public holiday. There were no traffic problems as petrol was rationed and there was very little private motoring.
At that time gentlemen of the Polish Legation were stationed at Walkern Croft. Earlier in the war it had been occupied by the Womens’ Land Army. On the evening of the VE celebrations I had the honour of dancing with one of these gentlemen who said “It makes me laugh, for to dance in the street.” I think he thought that it was one of our quaint village customs!
Mr Richardson organised the same event in August of that year for the VJ celebrations. These gatherings were so successful that he decided to start a Youth Club where he would provide the music for us to have a dance each week. The young people formed their own Committee under the chairmanship of Mr Richardson and the club was aptly named the Victory Club. We had regular Committee Meetings at his home and met every week in the Church Hall, which had been the former Walkern School, situated where The Meusings is today.
The club was funded by charging a small entrance fee and by making a small profit from the sale of orange and lemon squash, which perfectly satisfied the customers in those days and which we purchased from Walkern Brewery. I had the job of collecting the money, paying the bills and making the books balance!
The club was a great success. There were no problems of bad behaviour or vandalism. I feel that this was mainly due to the fact that the young people were allowed to run the club themselves and were anxious for it to continue. We owe our grateful thanks to Mr Donald Richardson for the many happy hours that we spent at our weekly “hops”.
Jean Archer (nee Hale)