We’ve decided to throw in a ‘Throwback Thursday’ to our 60 Days of Positivity as it is always good to reflect on where you have come from! So sit back and enjoy as we whisk you back in time and talk about one of Hampshire’s hidden gems – YMCA Fairthorne Manor. For a lot of people, Fairthorne Manor brings feelings of nostalgia – your parents, grandparents or even great grandparents may have memories of their trip to the YMCA!
Back in the day…the back of the photo says “Fairthorne Manor circa 1959, Regents Park Girls School”
Fairthorne Manor was purchased by the YMCA in 1947, to be the base for T.S Warfleet, a training scheme for boys to serve aboard merchant ships and private yachts. Due to the success of the scheme, sailing and canoeing school residential trips were introduced to the site in 1950. Camps for boys were also held each year, which were similar to the school holiday Daycamps we have today. When Warfleet closed in 1962 the YMCA worked on a site development plan, the results of which can still be seen today. Although Fairthorne initially set out to teach children just to sail and canoe, due to the popularity of the site the activities quickly expanded. Young people of all ages can now take part in a range of activities, including archery, obstacle and assault courses, paddle boarding and much more.
Since 1962, there has been many developments across the site. In 1973 work began on Heald House, an 90 bed accommodation building named in memory of Lt. Col V.A.J. Heald who was the chairman of the committee to help develop facilities. More recently, Ben’s House was opened by HRH The Princess Royal. The building was named in remembrance of Ben Self, a child who was a frequent visitor to the Fairthorne Manor Daycamps. Opened in September 2009, the building can sleep 72 young people and 12 leaders.
To learn more of the history of Fairthorne Manor, click here to read Fairthorne – Past & Present