Wednesday 17 December 2014

The Barnet Eye Advent Calendar - Wednesday 17th December

Here we are at the 17th day of Advent. There is a saying that the Devil makes work for idle hands. We look at both sides of that coin today. 

So you think things used to be so much better than they are today? It's a myth we all sometimes subscribe to. We say "The kids today are so much worse than we were". Well when you actually research the truth, it is not always so cut and dried.

Check out this video, filmed in Cricklewood Train depot in 1969

For many of us, football hooliganism was something predominantly of the mid 1970's but as you can see, it was alive and well in the swinging 60's. The video refers to the "Home secretary and British Rail wanting to do something about it". Well the problem of football special trains was comprehensively stopped by the Conservative government of the mid 1990's who abolished British Rail and with it football specials. I only ever once travelled on a Football Special. That was in 1975, with some friends who were Spurs fans, to watch them play my team, Manchester City at Maine Road. Spurs lost 5-1 and were relegated. The bar on the train was ransacked and missiles were thrown at unsuspecting passengers on the platforms as the train sped through. I was 13 at the time and found it all a bit scary. I doubt I'd let my 13 year old son go on such an excursion on his own today. How times have changed.

Of course, such acts have always been carried out by a tiny minority. We hear about the bad things they do, but we rarely hear of the good things and the hard work for the community carried out by many.

One organisation that does sterling work and we are only too keen to promote is TS Broadsword, based at the Welsh Harp, which offers young people the chance to experience many forms of naval an water based training -

Their website says


The Sea Training Corps is a voluntary youth organisation for Boys and Girls. It aims to develop qualities of self-discipline and leadership, and provides a service to the community. We believe this is an important function in today's multicultural and multi-faith society, and that we are helping to develop good citizens for the future. Our organisation is run on Naval routines and traditions.

Broadsword is a Self Help/Self Financing Group, and has a long wish list needed for it to progress, expand, continue and to develop further in order to support the vitally important work it carries out voluntarily for Youth and the Community. To this end any Donation, however small or large, would be very gratefully received and formally acknowledged. Donors kind enough to donate for running costs will be sent a set of Professionally Audited signed Annual Accounts. Donors kind enough to donate for a specific project or items of equipment etc. will be sent receipts and invited to inspect any purchases. All donors will be welcome to visit T.S. Broadsword either officially or un-announced.

If you'd like to donate to their work, just click here -

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

The Barnet Eye is a long term supporter of TS Broadsword, it's aims and its activities. If you have children who are interested in experiencing something more challenging than watching X Factor, I'd heartily recommend getting them to have a look at TS Broadsword.  They are currently organising a Snowden Challenge in 2015, if that appeals to you, get in touch.

Lets focus on the good things our young people do and support those who make it happen.

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