ADVENTURERS’ CLUB HISTORY (NOW CLOSED)
I was once asked to write articles for the church magazine but ended up helping on a Tuesday night. Overall there were numerous church members who assisted with the running of the club which was children from the start of the school until they moved on to the senior school.
A few trip were organised, and the best I attended was to Marsh Farm at South Woodham Ferrers, more of that later. However the highlight of a club night was the saying of the Adventurers’ prayer, which is showing below -
We thank you God for your creation
We thank you for the world’s salvation
We thank you for the gift of love
And all your blessings from aboveHelp us to do your will each day
And Bless the Adventurers we pray
Care for the sick, our families and friends
And so protect us till the end.
In 1999 we bought charity tickets for the circus in Wivenhoe, but sadly the coach failed to turn up to take us there but we got an apology later from the bus company. However a quick phone around saw parents and parish members ferry everyone there but we did miss a fair amount of the show.
From my memory of early Adventurers day, no formal accounting records were kept, with all the money held in a big tin or a pot and spent as and when needed, so I took charge and began recording in 1985, and so my financial connections began with the club, which I did for over 20 years. Most of our money over the years was spent on the heating, books, gifts for leaving leaders and curates, contributions towards our barbeques, carol singing and Christmas Party and trips out.
Referring back to that trip out, as I can recall - Many years ago a good number travelled on a coach down to Marsh Farm in the South Woodham Ferrers area, and a pleasant day was spent there with children and leaders from our Junior Church as we saw the animals and were involved in the activities that were taking place there.
The general running of the club saw us meet every Tuesday between 6 and 7 on a Tuesday evening at St Cedd’s Church. On arrival the children paid their weekly subs, which I took in, then after a few games, there was a break for a glass of squash, then a religious style or book story. After a small prayer, the Adventurers Prayer, it was more games and at the end, the children were given their sweets and were collected by their parents.
The last bit was supposed to be the case until one week, one of the dads forgot to collect his two children, and we did not have a contact phone number. Fortunately we did have a neighbours, who also attended the club, we rang her, she went and told him, and embarrassingly he came and collected his children. He then swore them to secrecy not to tell mum, but I believe that they did tell her.
Some of the games I can recall were – What’s the time Mr Wolf and Goosie Goosie, another running game where people took the part of characters from the TV programme, the Magic Roundabout. If their name appeared in the story, the children had to run up the hall and back again. I then wrote new stories, based on the ITV programme – Rainbow, featuring, George, Bungle and Zippy.
As I left the games to the ladies at the club I got the job in the kitchen, making the orange squash, which we had in mid evening. Initially the children choose their own sweets, which took too long, as it went along the lines of …. I’ll have one of them, then I’ll have one of them, thirty I’ll have one of them took too long, so when we collected the subs a filling in sheet recorded their sweet amounts, so I tended to bag up the sweets, these were mainly Freddy Frog chocolate bars, flumps, various styles of jellies and numerous other flavoured ones. Also at Christmas time, they linked up with the Junior Church, members of the choir and the churches and went carol singing in the early days around the estate but in latter years just to Walnut Tree and Elfreda Houses.
Just prior to Christmas on December 24th they were involved with a nativity playlet at both churches which in later years is now just a service at All Saints which is lighting of the Christmas Tree. I obviously set a good impression on some children, as years later, when I was meet them in the street, they would say – “aren’t you the man from the Tuesday Club ?
Due to various reasons the club was closed down in the late 2000’s.
My file of accounting for the group seemed to have started in June 1994 and ended in May 2008 when I think the club got closed down temporarily but later was closed for good. However I was unsure at what stage my involvement began as I did the books for them for some time before I took on the attending role. Certainly I did have a spell back when the 1970’s there in the early times when I went and ran a library at the club, then stayed on afterwards as the Youth Club met after the Adventurers Club finished on the same night.
In the 1980’s the two churches put on a “Parish Audit” in St Cedd’s over a weekend, where people put on displays for the people of Shrub End to attend and see what went on. Fortunately I had then kept my notes of what I was involved with and the Adventurers’ Club was researched and this was what I learned about them …..
When it was done it was thought that the club had been going since the late 1960’s, and it was believed some of the first members had grown up and were now bringing their own children along. In the 1970’s I took along books to lend out and it was thought that the club got its name in the following way – When some work was done for USPG, United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. When my notes were written in late 1990’s, attendances were about 25, although in one week in 1990, there a massive attendance of 61.
The club generally ran from 6 to 7pm for school children from about five up to 11. Whilst the money was collected by new arrivers, a penalty shoot out took place with a softball and other games mentioned were Goosie Goosie, Magic Roundabout, Sausages, Ladders, Lions and the Fish Game..
The Audit also revealed that one of our curate, this was Father Brian was involved. However accounting of cash was not good and did indeed they kept all the money in a large mug in the committee room cupboard. Later years saw many other helpers involved. They worked out at the Summer Fete in 1982, went to the Colchester Zoo and held several picnics and did carol singing just before Christmas.