Helping children to stave off boredom for five decades

Dormans Youth Club 50th anniversary fun day.'Pictured are L-R Adrian Bailey ( Chairman of the youth club), Lauren Evans (Junior Leader) and  Chris Cook (Director of the youth club).'Gossops Green, Crawley.''Picture: Liz Pearce. 140315.'LP1500355 SUS-150314-184224008
Dormans Youth Club 50th anniversary fun day.'Pictured are L-R Adrian Bailey ( Chairman of the youth club), Lauren Evans (Junior Leader) and Chris Cook (Director of the youth club).'Gossops Green, Crawley.''Picture: Liz Pearce. 140315.'LP1500355 SUS-150314-184224008

When Crawley’s mayor Brenda Smith first set foot inside Dormans youth club she was just a teenager.

The last time she visited the site – on March 14 – she was helping to celebrate the centre’s 50th anniversary.

The centre, which used to be called Gossops Green Youth Club and is now the Dormans Youth Arts Centre, welcomed old members, as well as the latest generation, to raise a glass and reminisce.

Chris Cook, director of Crawley Community Youth Service (CCYS), and his team arranged a display of archive photos showing some of the fun – and dodgy fashions – which had graced the centre over the years.

Memories were shared of Tony Addison, who was the worker-in-charge in the early days, and Wally Beesley, who was the club’s chairman.

Tony was present when the building, in Dormans, Gossops Green, was opened in 1965.

The group learned it used to be based in a hut which was erected at the back of the shops in Paddockhurst Road.

The building is still in use today and is home of the Crawley Spiritualist Church.

Other names which were fondly remembered included Jan Dinnage, Mike Kramer, Kenny Glasspool, Paul Rigglesford, Jeanette Miller and Gary Clarke.

Jeanette Miller – a former youth worker-in-charge at the youth centre in the 1980s – still works with young people, teaching arts and crafts from her workshop behind Tilgate Parade.