This section really brings us full circle to the beginning of this report where we discussed the existing facilities for teenage leisure. We suggested that these are already either inadequate or blocked on grounds of expedience or personal interest by the people who control them. We are now suggesting lines of action to mitigate this situation during the years before a youth club building materialises.
One such line of action has for a long time now been followed by the Congregational Church, which has established an apparently successful Youth Section, designed by its evangelical approach to strengthen the work of the church itself.
We have been very encouraged by the farseeing policies of two of the village’s organisations in respect of the adolescents and children. Both the Chinnor Silver Band and the Rifle Club have wisely developed thriving junior sections from which, of course, they can recruit into their adult sections. We would strongly recommend every other village organisation to examine its recruitment and training policies and capabilities with a view to creating separate sections for adolescents or else catering more specifically for them within their existing framework.
In our view it would be ideal if at this early stage, each organisation created an informal liaison with the existing youth leadership in the village if only as a means of publicising itself and attracting recruits through the youth clubs. Clearly this would not be the only means of recruitment but consultation of this kind would raise the status and improve the image of the youth clubs – assuming of course that they were themselves co-operative and helpful. As a corollary of this we suggest that each organisation using the village hall and other meeting places should bear in mind the paramount needs of the village youth and not press their demands too hard against the youth clubs when bookings for an evening coincide or conflict.
The women’s organisations both in Chinnor and in Kingston Blount have already shown considerable interest in and awareness of the problems of their growing children and it is from them that we expect influence to be exerted in providing the use of public buildings for teenage activities particularly if this needs more inertia to be over come in the matter of obtaining a license for music and dancing for instance. Both primary and secondary schools already provide in their curricula an introduction to such leisure pursuits as music, drama and folk dancing. It is desirable to concentrate the formation of organisations such as an orchestra in the village which would carry these pursuits on and allow them to develop.
Perhaps the Further Education Authority would provide classes in Chinnor (not in Thame) in subjects such as guitar playing, folk music or motor car repairs which might be attractive to teenagers as well as adults. The response to and success of these would clearly depend on the ability of the tutor in interesting and stimulating adolescents rather than on purely technical expertise in his subject.
Where there is a lack of indoor facilities for entertainment, adults who are willing and able to lead adolescents in a wide range of outdoor activities should be encouraged to do so. Among activities which are comparatively easily available within a day’s journey of Chinnor are hiking, camping, climbing, fishing, swimming, riding, motor and motor-cycle racing, go-karting, sailing, archery and gliding.
Some of these can be carried out within a very short distance of Chinnor and we would consider it the business of the youth clubs and the Parish Council to give what help they could in working out ways and means of achieving these if a potential leader emerged wanting to organise any one of them.
The mainstay of our recommendations for the future is a purpose-build youth club in the village. This is unlikely to materialise for five years or more and our final suggestion is that a small prefabricated hut should be hired or bought and placed on a suitable temporary site – possibly behind the village hall. This would be for the sole use of the youth clubs and would at least provide continuity of occupation and a meeting place potentially available on each night of the week if required. This should be regarded purely as a short term expedient and need not cost more than a few hundred pounds and possibly much less than this.