Meridale Youth Club was established in Sutton on Sea in November 1965 by a group of local teenagers.
At that time there was very little for young people to do - a coffee bar in the High Street and the Lyric Cinema in Mablethorpe, two miles away. Fed up with nothing to do, they gained the help and advice of local councillors and subsequently were given permission to use Meridale Hall as a meeting place.
During the summer of that first year they spent every evening cleaning and painting the interior of the building, which consisted of small entry porch, office, single toilet and main hall.
Although support was forthcoming from parents and local traders, the refurbishment was carried out by the growing number of young people, and at their own expense. As the hall neared completion the group formed themselves into a working party to discuss how the club should be run. They decided that they wished to have total control of the running of the club, and that adults should only attend for advice. This was seen by some as naivety on the part of the youngsters, as they hadn’t taken into consideration all that is necessary to make a public meeting place safe and secure without the backup of a Management Committee. Despite this the group gained affiliation to Youth Clubs U.K. and opened the doors to Meridale Youth Club on 12th November 1965.
However, the ethos born at that time by those founder members did, in fact, find success and the Meridale Youth Club went from strength to strength. More than fifty years on, and despite the arrival of other youth groups in surrounding areas, Meridale continues to be a popular meeting place for local youngsters. Although the leader, John Monk MBE, who has been running the club since 1966, is now a qualified youth worker, the philosophy remains the same as in those early days. Young people serve on a Member’s Committee, taking responsibilities for all aspects of the day to day running of the club including refreshments supervision, collection of admission fees, and treasurer’s duties.
There have been many improvements to the hall over the years, most recently a sun room to the rear of the building, full disabled access, toilet and shower facilities and extended courtyard area leading on to newly acquired land. This is one of our current projects to landscape and provide a restful, peaceful Community Garden to benefit the local population.
Meridale continues its tradition of community involvement. Many of our young members contribute to other organisations such as Carnival events, the Horticultural Society and other community activities.
The most significant and successful community project is the bi-monthly Newsletter, which is produced at Meridale and hand distributed to the local area including Sutton on Sea, Sandilands, Trusthorpe, Mablethorpe and Huttoft. The latest edition is always published on this website.
With the continued dedication and enthusiasm of the Meridale team, Meridale has rightfully earned the respect of residents of Sutton on Sea and others from further afield. Follow the links above to read a little more about us ......