Farewell to Grindleford Youth Club building

On the 9th June Grindleford will say farewell to the old youth club building on Sir William Hill. It has served the village as a community facility for nearly 200 years. Initially built as a Wesleyan Chapel and Schoolrooms in about 1830. The chapel was replaced in 1906 by the then new Methodist church, just below the old chapel.
In 1906 the wealthy steel maker from Sheffield, Samuel Osborn purchased the building for £150 and set up a trust for a non political and undenominational men’s club or institute for men and youths of 17 years and upwards so that they could meet for social intercourse, mental or moral improvement, recreation, refreshment or amusement. No alcoholic liquors shall be sold and no gambling allowed. It was probably about this time that a full size snooker/billiard table was installed in the building.

Over the years the building moved with the times and has seen a variety of uses. It is believed that at one stage it was a gentlemen’s reading rooms. Also in 1928 the First Grindleford Scout Troop was using the building and later the Sports Club. In 1965 a new trusteeship was set up to provide a youth club for the village. Over the past 50 years it has been the home for many generations of young people and with the help of a procession of eager and dedicated youth workers and parents provided a space for our young people to develop into young adults.
Today we under estimate the value of a neutral space away from school and parents where young people can develop socially. In this age of wall-to-wall TV, computer games, Xboxes and iPads, having a space where young people can practice their social skills can only be a good thing.

It was with this philosophy in mind we decided that the old building was no longer ‘fit for purpose’ for a youth club today and that we should build a new youth club for tomorrow. With the help of Grindleford Playing Fields Association we plan to build a new extension to Bishop Pavilion to provide a new space for the youth club. This will also provide additional community space for the village and a safer environment for our young people.

The old youth club building (with change of use to residential dwelling) will be sold by auction on 9th June by Blundells Estate Agents.

Steve Slingsby
(On behalf of Grindleford youth club trustees )