Shropshire Star

Talk to take place celebrating life of community hero and his youth club legacy

A talk spotlighting the work of a community hero and 'all-round good egg' is set to take place next week.

Doug, pictured middle, retiring from Newport Council in 1981, with his wife Susan and Mayor Councillor Harding

Former Newport town clerk Doug Keddie MBE dedicated his life to serving the community, and was instrumental in many projects throughout latter half of the 20th century.

Up until his death at the age of 99 in 2015, Doug was an important member of Newport's church community and founded the St Nicolas Boys Club in the 1950s.

By the 70s, the club had welcomed girls too, and became Newport's youth club.

Linda Fletcher, chair of Newport History Society, said the club was a huge part of life in the town in the mid 20th century.

She said: "The boys club was immense, especially in the 60s. Once a year they would host a boys' week, where they would have celebrities in attendance. One year, Frankie Vaughan came to town to open the club week.

"The annual mile of pennies tradition was started by the club, which is still taking place in some form now, in the lead up to St George's Day."

Linda will be leading a talk next week, which will delve into the history of the boys club and highlight the work of the popular community figure.

She said: "Because the club and Doug were such a huge part of the town, it's really a talk about Newport in the mid-20th century. Everybody who was alive then would know of Doug Keddie and all of his work."

The history society is hoping people who attended the club, or knew people who did, will come along to the talk to join in on the discussion.

The talk will be at Cosy Hall, on Water Lane - a community building that Doug helped set up - at 7.30pm on March 28.

Entry costs £4 and includes tea and coffee.

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