North Molton may only be a village but it is fortunate enough to have both a thriving Friday Club (for 7 – 11 year olds) and a Youth Club (for 11 – 16 olds) and the weekend before last ( 14 – 15 May) there was a packed programme of events to celebrate the Friday Club’s 40th anniversary.
The Friday Club, which is based in the village’s Methodist chapel, was started in 1971 by Sister Pam LePoidevin, May Bray, Greta Bray and her daughter Rosemary Bray (now Courteney). Today, the club meets fortnightly, on a Friday.
The weekend’s events began at 10.00 – 12.00 on Saturday with an exhibition of photos and memorabilia illustrating the Friday Club’s history, videos of various outings and events, followed by coffee and refreshments. Many people attended to exclaim over the photos and to point in amazement at themselves or friends and family in much younger days!
It was notable that many of those who came along to relive happy memories were Friday Club members in the archive photographs. Now adults themselves, they in turn brought their own children to the event. And of course many of these now attend the current Friday Club. In fact at least one local family, The Bendles, can claim three generations of attendees!
In the afternoon the festivities moved to a free event held North Molton’s Sports Club, which started at 3.00 and went on to a family party until 9.00 at night. In the afternoon there were races, activities, a bouncy castle and a barbeque. This was followed at 6.00 with live music from The Lucy Lastic Band. This caused great fun and hilarity as old and young joined in and had a go at line dancing!
Finally, rounding off the weekend on Sunday morning there was a service at the Methodist chapel lead by Sister Pam – who had travelled from her home in Guernsey – and included contributions from past and present Friday Club leaders and members. This was rounded off by Sister Pam cutting the fabulous cake, which featured the club’s motto of ‘Treat Others as You Would Like to be Treated’. Afterwards everyone was invited to stay and share lunch.
Rosemary Courtney now leads the Friday Club. Rosemary says:
“We have been delighted in the support from past and present children and helpers over the last two days. The weather held for us and so the social event at The Sports Club went brilliantly! The evening was a fun event and the dancing seemed to be enjoyed by everyone, as the children got parent and friends involved. I would particularly like to thank all those who have put in many hours to make this weekend so special, especially my cousin Janet Jerrett, who’s mum May Bray was one of the original founders 40 year ago ”.