Is he a young lad, or young man, living in a very deprived area, often living in poor accommodation, with perhaps only one parent? Is this lad, or young man, at risk from entering a life of crime to get himself out of a world that is harsh and uncaring? Is he alienated from society, a society that imposes different rules to the one he has to live by? Sounds familiar?
Well, he could be any Crown and Manor member since the Club began!
It is very easy to forget that pre-war society was very judgmental of the people who lived in this area – everyone living here was seen to be of very low class, uneducated and criminal. It didn’t matter that many parents fought hard and long to maintain high standards for their children. Those who lived on the outside were very quick to judge from a position of ignorance.
And so it is today.
Those that formed the Crown Club, the Hoxton Manor and ultimately the Crown and Manor were visionary people and saw beyond the ignorance of the many. They saw the good in local youth and knew that unless they were educated to live and work in society, they would not stand a chance of living a happy and prosperous life. This is what the Crown and Manor is all about. How many of the old Crown and Manor members were completely fazed by some of the rules and standards that Ian Leslie, Pa Llewelyn-Smith and Martin Parr insisted that they should follow?
And so it is today. Trying to set high standards for young people is very hard work.
Those that run the Crown and Manor today are facing the same problems with young people that faced many of our old members. It still falls to the Crown and Manor to provide the social education for local youngsters to live and work in a society that condemns them just because of the area they live in.
As in the last one hundred years, there are great youngsters in the area. The fact that they come to the Crown and Manor is an indication that they want something more in their lives. Everything should be done to keep the Crown and Manor going. It can’t save every youngster in the area, but if past records are anything to go by, it has had wonderful success so far.
As one who spans many decades of the Crown and Manor, let me assure you. Crown and Manor boys have not changed in their needs and ambitions.