South Yorkshire Times March 6th 1965
Boys Suspended for Under-Age Drinking
The last official act of former Denaby Tom Hill Youth Centre leader, Mr. john Smith, before he left to take up a post in Gloucestershire, was to suspend five boys from membership because of under-age drinking, and to cut short a farewell party given by members for himself and his wife.
And in an open letter, addressed to parents through the columns of the “South Yorkshire Times”, Mr. Smith, now an assistant area youth officer in Gloucestershire, attacks the lies and deceit of young people who are guilty of under-age drinking – “the most anti-social aspect of life in this area”.
Mr. Smith criticises the “laxity” which allows under-age drinking, and suggests more frequent police checks of public houses.
Addressing his letter “Dear Parents”, Mr. Smith asks: “Does your son or daughter make a practice of visiting any of the pubs and clubs in this area for the purpose of obtaining drinks when they are still under the age of 18?”
He suggests, “Don’t ask yourself this question. Ask your offspring, and then check up on the answer they give you. I am sorry to have to tell you that a lot of you will encounter lies and deception, in the same way that local publicans have when querying their ages, and I have when trying to advise them of their folly.
“It was through the problem of young boys having too much to drink that my last official act as leader of this club has been to suspend five of them from the membership, and to bring to an early end the ‘Farewell Party’ which had been arranged for my wife and I by the Members’ Committee.
“The parents of the boys concerned will know who they are by now, and I hope that they are taking stern measures to prevent a re-occurrence of such happenings. But what of you others?
“It is my firm view that the most anti-social aspect of life in this area is this very problem of under-age drinking, and it is high time that the appropriate authorities took the steps which are clearly defined by law to put a stop to it.”
And as a last “friendly word of advice” for parents Mr. Smith adds “It is merely that you wait up for them coming home on week-end nights and see for yourselves what state they are in.”