Henry Brown Youth Centre in West Howe to celebrate 50th anniversary

Bournemouth Echo: ANNIVERSARY: The Henry Brown Youth Centre ANNIVERSARY: The Henry Brown Youth Centre

A YOUTH centre will this Saturday celebrate 50 years at the heart of its community.

The Henry Brown Youth Centre at West Howe will host an exhibition featuring film, stories and photographs from people who have used the centre across the generations.

In the evening, 200 people will dance dressed as they did when they were members.

Jane Parsons, safe place worker from Bournemouth Borough Council’s youth services team, said: “Everyone I meet and work with at the Henry Brown Youth Centre has said a member of their family had been a past member of the centre. It really is the hub of the community. “The preparations have been fascinating – some fabulous stories have been shared as we gather photographs, films and recordings for the exhibition and film we are planning tomorrow. “And everyone is getting into the spirit of the evening ‘do’ where they have been asked to come dressed in the same way as when they were members of the youth club.

“But it’s not just about ex-members of the club. We’ve also found ex-youth workers who have some stories to tell!”

The Henry Brown Social Centre, as it was originally called, opened on April 22 1964 at Cunningham Crescent. It was named after the Bournemouth mayor who had established a committee in 1958 to advise on the need for facilities in West Howe.

West Howe was built on heathland in the 1950s and was Bournemouth’s first large council estate.

Cllr Jane Kelly, cabinet member for regeneration, said: “We’re really excited about the celebrations. “We’ve had a lot of interest in the event and the evening social event.”

She added: “Henry Brown Youth Centre continues to serve the West Howe community and is a hub for all sorts of activities for the young and the young at heart.”

Kinson South councillor Beryl Baxter added: “It’s a super way to get former members of the centre and current members together with the community of West Howe, I look forward to joining in the celebrations.”

The free events at the centre run from 12noon to 3pm on Saturday.

Tickets for the evening event, for ex-members and youth workers, cost £6 from West Howe Library, local community worker Martha Serle or from the centre.

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