Pre WW2, Tha 30s, Teenage stress

To some extent, auto suggestion, prompts a lot of the ills of today. With the vast amount of material needed for TV and the media, editors are less critical of material submitted. I suppose I come into the latter category – so be it. Through their lifestyle young people in the 30s, were not open to these opinions, just sport and their social life, not hunched over a TV, or reading magazines I would never have been allowed to bring into the house.
Prior to World War II we played simple games in the house and outside, and in general terms, the only stresses we suffered, were caused mainly by our schooling. Single-parent children, like myself, suffered more stress than others, but we were unaware that this was detrimental to our psyche, and so I believe, we just accepted our lot and got on with our often unhappy lives. From they were toddlers, sport played a great part in the lives of all children. In those days, throughout the land, areas, such as village greens, parks etc, which had previously been common grazing land, were where we all played. In many of the Commons, there were tennis courts, running tracks, and everywhere in the summer, small groups of children were playing a crude form of cricket. The older children skated in the winter at commercial rinks, and most schools played football or rugby. Later teenagers formed small groups on a regular basis to play games like tennis, football and cricket and then these developed, as they grew older, into local teams, especially football and cricket, on local open spaces.
WW2 put an end to all this, what with the Dig For Victory campaign, subsequent house building, and other reasons, many of these Commons have since disappeared with the result the young people are now thrown back on their own meagre resources, tribal rights and wars, or a more monastic life mainly spent in front of a blue screen in their bedroom. It is therefore not surprising that some of the tougher, more bolshie elements make trouble. facilities for the young are essential. At one point in my chequered career I joined a youth club. My outstanding memories were that it was an aesthetically cold place, poorly run by amateurs, that I enjoyed little, and left in a hurry. I believe that young people have a fair idea of what they want, most do not want the moon, but they do not want second-best, this is an insult and gives exactly the wrong impression. Perhaps they should be consulted. I’m not equipped to advise on what should be offered, and how it is run or how it is funded. A nationwide survey, of successful clubs might be rewarding and give a benchmark for future design. Aspects I think are important are, that the club should be better in every way than the homes the young people come from and therefore valued by them, abuse and therefore banishment would really deter bad behaviour, and that respect is a two way street. I am merely making these points from the basis of my own experience, and trust that that experience is not unique; otherwise this piece would be pointless

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