Methodist Association of Youth Clubs

London Weekends

Tomorrow's leaders of the Church...
Methodist Recorder

I recognise that the 70s and 80s are considered to be the heyday of MAYC, but for my generation it was the 50s with the Rev Len Barnett.

London Weekend was the highlight of the year. Our club, being near to London, in St Albans, several times entertained guest clubs from more distant parts of the country camping overnight at the church or in our homes.

We took part in the action at the Royal Albert Hall over several years either in the arena or in the choir conducted by Steve Race.  I still have some of the music we sang.  One year the opening theme involved hundreds if not thousands of spring flowers, daffodils and tulips, which we participants were required to make out of crepe paper. That kept us busy for many weeks!

The Saturday morning Congress was held in Westminster Central Hall and later in the Royal Festival Hall.  In 1956 the Methodist Recorder printed the account of the weekend with a photograph of the members of the Congress. The caption (prophetically!) read:

“Tomorrow’s leaders of the Church, or some of them, seen at the MAYC Congress held in the Royal Festival Hall, South Bank, London, as part of a well-organised, well attended, and inspiring week-end for young Methodist guild members.”

Two of our members could clearly be seen (4th row, extreme left).  They are now both supernumary ministers: the Rev. Roger Lee, and the Rev. Dr Albert Jewell whom I married several years later.  We celebrated our Golden Wedding in 2012!

Comments about this page

  • We came to London in 1968 or 1969 with Princess Alice Children’s Home. I get mixed up because I also came down with Princess Alice Children’s Home for the National Children’s Home Centenary in 1969, where I performed on the gym display team and played bells and glockenspiel. One of these events, and I think it was the MAYC event, was hosted by the disgraced Jimmy Saville.

    By John Haydon (10/10/2023)
  • Attended the weekends in London several times, was part of the choir twice. Last time was when Hayley Mills was a special guest, around 1963/64, how things have changed.

    By Anthony Pettinger (19/12/2021)
  • Had a couple of holidays MYD one at Kilmory Castle and one at Mundesley on-sea unreplacable memories also Christian Endeavour holidays at Scarborough and Torquay in the late 50’s anyone else?

    By -Keith Blythe (06/03/2021)
  • Does anyone remember the Saturday MAYC in about 1960/1 The mass choir sang a hymn written for Inters Guild by our youth leaders. Miss Ailsa Guy and Mrs Ivy Manley. Mrs Manley was our church organist and wrote the music for the hymn., she was also blind
    I am trying to think who the Male singer was on that day. Can anyone help?
    Pat Gale, Taunton but grew up in Axminster

    By Patricia Gale (03/04/2020)
  • I belonged to the Notts and derby district mayc club 617 Mansfield in 70s/ 80s the club performed with others in our district twice in Albert hall..such special memories of some excellent mayc London weekends..but in the last few day the district has lost a very special man called cliff the notts/derby district he was Mr mayc. his smile and laughter would light up every place he visited…he will be so fondly remembered…

    By Carol bonsall (19/05/2019)
  • Does anyone remember going to the Albert hall and seeing the Sunderland mayc do the lampton worm and seeing Anthony valentine and polly james

    By Jan madge nee makin (13/05/2019)
  • I went to London twice with the Leicester trinity circuit in the late 80’s . The were great times .

    By Peter Howkins (10/11/2018)
  • I was Miss MAYC in 1976 as Sue Foster and have many happy memories of going around the other youth clubs as part of year in office. Have many pictures of that and previous years. We had so much fun.

    By Sue Nutter (03/08/2018)
  • Many happy memories of the London Weekends in the 1970s. I had the huge honour of being Chairman of the  National Members Committee about ‘78/79. Coming from a tiny village youth club (Waltham in NE Lincs), this really was a huge thrill.

    By Keith Hicks (01/08/2018)
  • I appeared at the Royal Albert Hall youth concert when I was 15. Many years ago. Juggling and plate spinning to music with a team from Hull. I also attended every year until I was about 20.

    By Janet Lodge ( previouslyButler) (28/03/2018)
  • We enjoyed MAYC in the 1990s. Does the London weekend still continue, if not when did it end? I have a few badges and T shirt if anyone is collecting them…

    By Mary Hayes (09/12/2016)
  • Attended London Weekend at its inception. What a leap of faith “Griff” took when he agreed to act as guarantor financially for the hire of the Royal Albert Hall when others were not so sure. I also remember the Camden Town Shelter with its rows and rows of bunk beds. It seemed miles to walk for breakfast!!  As someone else has remarked no sleep – but who cared. MAYC brought so many young people to Christ and I hope their work is never forgotten. 


    By alma bartley (08/08/2015)
  • I attended these week-ends twice about 1949/50   One occasion was called “Young, Strong and Free”, and I took the part of a Roman soldier carrying the Cross.   A choir sang the Easter Hymn from Cavallera Rusticana, and the soloist was Betty Brooks.  Anybody out there who remembers this?  I too slept in Clapham South Underground, and breakfast was in a Church Hall.  Rev Douglas Griffiths was very much involved, also the Youth Secretary of the London South-West District, Leonard Bowers.  He had a son, who, I believe became a Minister.

    By Aubrey Vaughan (29/05/2015)
  • Regarding David Restarick’s comment  on 11/02/2014 about Clapham South Deep Shelter; Seventeen or so travelled from Providence Methodist Church Halesowen by steam train from Birmingham, staying in Clapham. Among them was a young girl, now my wife of 53 years. We are both active members of the above Church. You may wish to have a look at its  website, I did the history pages.

    Your page brought back many memories


    By Derek Trickett (08/05/2014)
  • Going with my South Wimbledon YC to Saturday and Sundays at Royal Albert Hall. Netball or 5a side-football finals on Saturday nights. Having other MAYC clubs staying the weekend.

    By Richard irons (03/04/2014)
  • Rev.Len Barnett, together with Revs.Kenneth Greet & Allen Birtwhistle, played a key part in my early developments as a Christian Disciple at the Methodist Youth Department’s Christian Leadership Summer Schols at Eastwood Grange, Ashover, Derbyshire in 1956 & 1957. It was at these amazing action-packed events that I recognized the beginnings of a Call to the Methodist Ministry. My wife & I retired 12 years ago to nearby Chesterfield, & some wonderful memories have begun to flood back. Thank you, Lord, for these three great saint, now praising you in Glory, & for all the many lives you have blessed through their ministries.

    By David J.Griffiths (18/02/2014)
  • When London Weekends first started a few hundred visitors to London were put up in the Clapham South Deep Tube shelter right under the running tracks of London Underground. These tunnels were an air raid shelter during the war, and bored before the war for an underground service that in the end did not happen. I was one of the wardens and well remember hearing the trains rumbling overhead at night. Did any one reading this ever sleep there?

    By David Restarick (11/02/2014)
  • I still have my beret with the yellow tassel we wore at earlier London Weekends, music at the choir with Steve Race, badges on a yellow and green scarf and also programmes. Went for almost 20 years to the London weekends. Loved it and in the arena several times. Those days were precious. Todays youth don’t know what they are missing. Completed 38 years of Youth Work volunteering for a wonderful job.

    By Glennis Rogerson (06/02/2014)
  • Hi I was Warden of MAYC Centre ‘Plas Yr Antur’ in Fairbourne N. Wales from 1969 to 78. The Centre is now an RAF Training Establishment with a ‘shed load of cash’ spent on refurbishment During the end of my time as Warden our staff attended the ‘London Weekend’ to advertise our work at the Centre. Around 1955/56 cannot remember exactly but our Boys Brigade Band from Middlesborough gave a display in the Royal Albert hall. I carried the Mace and I was in the RAF at the time. Wonderful memories. Bram Sharpe interviewed me for the Wardens job in 69

    By Julian Kirkham (07/09/2013)
  • My father was President of MAYC about fifty years ago, he was Bram Sharpe, it was when Rev. Gordon Turner was at Head office in Muswell Hill, any information?

    By Enid shepherd (24/08/2013)

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