25 years of Wrington Youth Week - Simon Phillips
from Wrington Journal March 2016
Wrington Youth Week 25 Years old this year
In 1989, my elder son David was invited by his friend Adam to join in with Blagdon Youth Week. He particularly enjoyed the Night Hike. Blagdon had started its Youth week in 1977 as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations and will celebrate 40 years next year.
My wife, Chris, and I thought it was a great idea, and with friends Sally and Tony Harden, we started to make plans for Wrington. Tony and I went to a Blagdon meeting to see how it worked, and the seeds were sown. During the winter of '90-'91 meetings were held, and the First Youth week was conceived.
What is now the Sports and Social Club was still just a sports pavilion at that time, and we were allowed use of it by the Parish Council. We asked people to offer a skill, sport or any other activity they thought would be suitable, give us an age range, number of participants and any costs. From this, the time table was drawn up. Year 1 saw 24 events from Wedneday to Friday, followed by Rounders and a barbecue on the Saturday morning. Year 2 saw a move to 4 days and then 5 by year 3.
Our imaginative naming of events sometimes worried our insurers. 'Deep sea diving' was one - although that was in a pool in the village for children who had done the basic sub aqua the year before. 'Build a roof' did not raise a murmur, even though it involved the construction of a roof large enough for a small garage in the car park, complete with felt, battens and some tiles.
After 7 years the four of us decided it was time to step back. It is wonderful to see that the concept has survived, and will celebrate 25 years this year. Thank you to everyone who helped to set it up in those early years, and also thank you to everyone who has kept it going.Here's to the next 25.