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Priory Forum Activities Club.

On thursday evening, a typical murky late october evening, I headed over with colleague Barry Wadsworth-Smith to see how the newly formed Priory Forum Activities Club was coming along. The club was opened 10 weeks ago to give the kids of the Clarendon and immediate area something to do in the evenings. Pioneering the launch back then was none other than Keith 'Keef' Sansum, and he in fact announced it's inauguration on our currently unused Forum. The club is held in the Clarendon and Westbury Community Hall and is on every thursday from about 6.30pm. Although Keef is a high profile figure, he is not the only one running things. He himself is anxious to give credit to others..and these others are also more former forumites, like Sheila Amos and Howard McSweeney, and of course Vic Matcham. All are hugely active. Also highly busy in keeping things running well are the jovial couple Cheryl McHugh and Steve McHugh, so it is clearly a complete all round team effort.

The kids in the photograph above had been playing floodlit football to the rear of the Hall where there is a tarmac area with full football markings, like goal areas, and so on. It is very good. They paused from the activity to have this picture taken, and while the picture was being taken the delicious smell of barbecuing beefburgers was permeating deliciously around the place..and very mouth watering they were too. The kids were enjoying themselves and using up vast amounts of well meaning well spent energy. Other sports on offer at the club are Pool, Table Tennis and... Boxing..which brings us nicely to the pictures below.
The young chap in the picture above, Ross Smith, put on a demo for us and he brilliantly knocked seven bells out of the punchbag and his pace was ferocious. He was certainly getting a terrific work-out from Vic Matcham. That's Vic there at the business end of the punchbag. Another young man, Christopher Husk, put on a fine and energetic show too, doing the same thing, that's him in the picture below. I was concerned momentarily for Vic's safety as the possible consequences could be problematic if one of those blows went wayward. Although Vic clearly knows what he is doing.

During a lull in the proceedings Vic related the tale of his legendary bout with one Frank Bruno all those years ago. There is a simple reason that Vic doesnt talk about it very often..reason is, he doesnt remember anything about it. He remembers climbing into the ring with Big Frank on a saturday night in London and the next thing he fondly recalls is he himself waking up in Sidcup hospital the following wednesday. I kid you not. It was clearly a painful encounter with Big Frank. So there you are...that's the full facts about the epic contest of legend. Although to be fair Frank Bruno is very much larger and heavier. But Vic is still with us today, still going strong, still fighting fit, and still working for the community.
Some of the faces behind the hard working names. That's long time Fab Forumite, from the days when we used to have Fab Forumites, Howard McSweeney on the left, then Club Member Ross Smith, Cllr Vic Matcham also a Fab Forumite, then Club Member Christopher Husk, organiser Cheryl McHugh, then local legend and another Fab Forumite of yore and onetime longtime Councillor and now Police Commuity Support Officer Keith Sansum, note the new official looking haircut, and last but not least fellow organiser Steve McHugh. All doing a fantastic job.

In the coming weeks the club will be delivering a newsletter to the houses in the area in an effort to increase membership. They want to get even more kids involved. The agenda is set by the kids too so there is no chance of them getting bored, it's democracy in action. They do what they like to do. Even now there are plans sketched in to go Ice Skating in London, so a fantastic effort all round is under way.

Just before ending...Vic has asked if anybody has any activity equipment to give to the club, skipping ropes, medicine balls etc.. indeed anything at all would be welcome. It will, as you can see, be put to worthwhile use.

Good luck to them all.


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