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Youth Club Is No Spring Chicken

The Salford Lads’ Club is one of the oldest youth clubs in Manchester and held its 100th camp this year.

The club brought back some former club campers to join in the event, which took place in Aberystwyth in May/June. Former members were asked to contact the club so they could be taken by bus to the 100th camp for a day-long anniversary celebration.

The club began in 1903 as a club for working lads, but is now open to girls and boys and gives young people the chance to take part in football, basketball, badminton, volleyball, table-tennis, snooker, pool, netball and dance, as well as the annual camping trip. There is also boxing coaching and cooking workshops. Up to 200 young people use the club every week.

The club’s first camping trip was in 1904. For many of the 174 boys, it would have been their only holiday.

Club trustee Bill Seddon said: “There were lots and lots of lads’ clubs in Manchester a long time ago and they’ve declined as communities have changed.

“We’re one of the last ones and the last one that still goes camping.”

The red brick Edwardian building of the Salford Lads’ Club has been a magnet for music fans for years after 1980s band The Smiths used it in a photo shoot.

The former weightlifting and bodybuilding room on the ground floor is now a mini museum known as The Smiths Room, where fans can leave photographs and notes. It is open to the public throughout the year, by appointment, and is on a list of trips by Manchester Music Tours.

 

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