The next installment of our history

1960s

By 3rd January 1960, a nissen hut arrived at the Club and the job of de-rusting and painting began. The minutes of the committee meeting, 6th March 1960, stated that the firm of Vie Hallam now held a provisional order for the pavilion and were awaiting the planning permission change from the previous plans. By 1st May 1960 the prefabricated building had been delivered and the shell erected by the members. The change was made at the last moment, from the original structure, to the more expensive but satisfying building. This was only made possible by a member making a generous donation plus an interest free loan to be paid back over 20 years. In fact, this loan was repaid in five years. Gifts and donations in the form of floor tiles, curtaining and, of course, members' time and skills made it possible to complete the construction and fitting out more quickly.

Only a week after final completion a member came up on his own and lit the coke stove, which was the sole means of heating at the time. He went out for a drink leaving the draught door open, and when he returned the roof lining around the chimney was nicely alight. Fortunately, with admirable foresight, the interior had been painted in fire resistant paint, and a fire extinguisher was at hand. The offending member left a note of apology and we never saw him again!

The committee discussed the building of swimming pool as early as 6th March 1960. Means of raising money was also discussed at this time but Basford R.D.C. refused to sanction a water supply for the pool until the Nottingham Corporation supplies were connected to the Newstead park area. The project was shelved for the time being.

In May 1960 the Club was told that the cost of bringing electricity to the Club would be £530. We remained in the dark for a little while longer.

During August 1960 a rally was held to celebrate the Society's 21st Anniversary.  156 members from other clubs were present and 92 members of the Society.

At the Annual General Meeting of that year it was recorded that there were only ten members and some of their children left who had come from the Wood Nook site, including Bernard H. who was President and the redoubted Percy Wilford who had been made an Honorary Life Member. In 1989 only one family and their son were still members.

The meeting also made Bernard H. an Honorary Life Member. At the Club's 50th Anniversary, Bernard's widow, Connie, was made an Honorary Life Member in recognition of her and Bernard's past work.

During 1960 the first hard surface miniten court was laid using asphalt donated by an anonymous member.

January 1961 saw the Club negotiating once more with Basford Council, this time for permission to build flush toilets in a toilet block and for the construction of a cesspit. This work was carried out in 1962, planned and built by members. Donations from supplemented the Club's expenditure on the block.

At the January 1961 count, there were 26 chalet sites. In the committee meeting, October 1961, the committee was informed that a member had offered to defray the cost of a Class 1, professionally constructed, hard tennis court. This wonderful offer was accepted with thanks. There was also an anonymous offer of proper surround posts and nets when the court had been completed

At the Annual General Meeting, 10th September 1961 subscriptions were increased from £3.10s.0d (£3.50) to £4.4s.0d (£4.20) for families, engaged couples and single men. The fee for a single woman was £1.10s.0d (£1.50)

The membership was made up of 80 paying units, comprising of 144 adults and 62 teenagers and children.

The swimming pool planning had reached its final stage but the Club was meeting difficulties with the Water Authority over adequate water supplies.

The minutes of the Committee Meeting, January 1962, records that the tea urn was not now required as a member had donated a gas copper (boiler) which had been converted to Calorgas.

The Treasurer reported that there was a surplus of £200 for development in 1962. The Social Calendar included;

æ May - Visit by Ribble Valley

æ July - Visit by Sunlanders

æ Whit - Bring and Buy Sale

æ August - Children's Party

æ September - Rally

The Annual General Meeting was moved to June and the financial year end moved to 31st December to facilitate a more prompt collection of subscriptions.

In 1963 it was resolved to meet the wishes of revellers and those who slept in the pavilion that entertainment should cease at 11.30pm and beds should be cleared by 9.30am. It was later decided that because not everyone wanted to dance, dances would be held on alternate Saturday nights.

Because camping was becoming more popular a decision was made to provide more sites.

The Club received a generator as a gift from the East Midlands Sunfolk and Jack T. was asked to build the first permanent building to house it.

At a General Meeting in March 1964 it was reported that work done included completion of the generator house and electric cabling to the toilet block and pavilion. The new workshop had been purchased and erected and a start had been made on the badminton court.

Camping fees, chalet agreements and chalet rules were introduced during this time.

A Silver Jubilee party was held on 4th July 1964. A marquee was hired, a charge of 5s.0d (25p) for members and special guests.

In December 1964 the generator was donated to the Ribble Valley Club as the Club now had a limited mains supply from E.M.E.B. because of the reduction in the cost. This was carried on telegraph poles round the pinewood boundary and enabled the Club to have a proper record player for dances for the first time.

Contravention of the removal of clothes rules was reported in April 1965 and at the Annual General Meeting on 6th June 1965 the Secretary's report mentioned that there could be a danger of the Club's objectives being lost sight of and the Society becoming a nude sports club.

The system in existence for booking courts was revised. The changed system is still in use today. The Sports Committee was also formed.

The Whit Sunday Bring and Buy raised £42 and was used to buy chairs for the pavilion. Peter S. was the auctioneer.

An extension was built along the front of the pavilion providing a dining area close to the kitchen, a porch and a solarium area.

The secretarial duties were divided, the Secretary, Peter L., concentrating on membership, external matters and H&E notes. Business matters, notices and duplicating were dealt with by David F.; Ken P. became camping warden.

In 1965 Jack T. built a low wall and tiled the floor of the original north shower. A new and better water supply was laid in by the Nottingham Corporation to replace the old Abbey Park supply. The pipe work throughout the Club had to be changed and set at a depth of 2' 6". A "T" depth board was made and the trenches dug to the exact depth before alkathene pipes were laid. The Water Board insisted on a registered plumber being engaged to provide and fit the various connections and branches to the alkathene pipes,and so a plumber in Mansfield got the job on a cost plus basis. He enjoyed himself so much that he never tendered an account for what was a substantial amount of work!

At the Annual General Meeting dated 26th May 1966, the rateable value of the grounds had increased from £160 to £240. Part of the increase was absorbed by chalet owners who had been paying a rate of 32s 0d (£1.60) per 100 sq.ft. for some time. Laying in the new water system had proved expensive and this too was partly absorbed by the new chalet rates.

It was decided that a coin box, ex-directory telephone should be installed. This item of new technology was still being discussed in 1974, eight years later.

Subscriptions were raised to £5 5s 0d in time for the start of the 1967 season.

An appeal for donations towards a swimming pool raised £441. The Club found another £250 and the present swimming pool was purchased, the pool was in use in the second half of 1966 and has proved one of the Club's assets.

There is a story that we began filling the pool from a small bore water supply which just about trickled into the pool. During one of our summer days, three wet and bedraggled men appeared in the grounds searching for a mains leak that was depriving the Abbey Grounds of its water supply. One of the men suddenly called out to his mates, "We've found it, Bill!":"It" being the tap filling the pool, albeit very slowly.

Because the Club's water supply, left to its own devices, greatly reduced the water pressure to our neighbours, their storage tanks were emptying and we had to stop taking water for the pool. The tap was used in the dead of night.  As a consequence of this, the secretary, David F., was summoned to appear before the powers that be at Basford Council offices and got his knuckles severely rapped.

It was at this point that we approached the Fire Service, pointing out that they were very short of water supplies in the area and suggested that they could use our swimming pool as water storage for use in emergencies and so we had their help to fill our pool by bringing 400 gallons at a time in their water tenders.

Several firemen returned to the Club as guests to swim and play volleyball and the Club were invited to a recreational evening at the Mansfield Fire Station. One fireman and his family became members.

The 1967 Annual General Meeting thanked all those who had helped towards the purchase and construction of the pool, especially David F. and Jack T. Membership has reached 104 units during this time.

The 4th June 1967 committee was concerned that ladies were wearing panties around the club grounds. The decision was taken that, if ladies had to wear something, then, let it be shorts or bikini bottoms.

During 1967 a chalet site was moved closer to the road so that an area could be cleared for a badminton court to be built.

Barbara T. and Jenny won the Ladies A.M.A. Championships. Swimming sessions began at Southwell Baths on 21st October 1967. The Management Committee, through David F., wrote to the Provost of Southwell and the Superintendent of Southwell Baths expressing regret at the fuss caused by a press article on the swimming session. A letter from the reporter of the article absolved a member of the Club suspected of setting up the Press coverage.

During 1968 a paddling pool and sandpit were constructed at the south end of the swimming pool. The badminton court came into use with a sand surface and wooden boards making the lines. By 1969 plans were a foot to extend the two miniten courts and construct a third. The siting of the new court required the moving of Cyril's chalet, the last on its original site and of those moved from the old club site in 1946.

The lack of social activities was brought to the Management Committee's attention at the August meeting. Activities were organised for the Bank Holiday weekend and plans laid for an autumn party. Winter swimming sessions were again held at Southwell.

During October 1969 Percy Wilford died. Representatives from the Club attended the funeral and flowers were sent.

A decision was made at the December Management Committee Meeting to setup three sub-committees for Social, Sport and Development. The following members were asked to join the new committees:-

æ Social - Barbara, John B., Sheila C. and Peter S. 

æ Sports - Barbara, Jennifer and Derek C. 

æ Development - Jack T., David, Ian and Derek C.