International Vegetarian Union (IVU)
IVU logo

The International Vegetarian Youth Camp 1952

Sussex, England

from The Vegetarian News (London) Winter 1952/3:

The International Vegetarian Youth Camp
Held at "Blackboys", Sussex, 9th to 23rd August, 1952

The London Party at Victoria Memorial outside Buckingham Palace.

Lunch in St. James' Park
photos by W. A. Sibly

The Camp was attended by some 50 to 60 guests. The German contingent was the largest and might have been larger if a more liberal policy on the part of the German Youth leaders had been pursued. Holland and Sweden were fairly well represented. There was also a fairly large English contingent, and representatives from Wales, Ireland and Australia.

Camp arrangements were pretty good, though considerable education in vegetarian feeding was found to be necessary. Fortunately the the staff and members of the Camp shewed a happy co-operative spirit.

There were some good discussions and lectures.

Through the generosity of Mrs. Gasque, some excellent coach drives were arranged, notably to London, Windsor, Arundel Castle and Horsham where, by courtesy of the Headmaster and Governors, a visit was made to Christ's Hospital (the Bluecoat School).

The weather was broken at times, but a splendid day was enjoyed in London, which was visited by a party of 35, under the leadership of Gerald Ashcroft and the President of the I.V.U. The coach was left St. Thomas's Hospital and rejoined by St. George's Hospital three hours later. Crossing Westminster Bridge, Westminster Hall and the Abbey were visited, and after some delays in keeping so large a party together, lunch was taken on the greensward, in the sunshine at St. James's Park.

A wander up Whitehall followed, with Downing Street and the Life Guards perhaps the chief attractions. Then came the thrill (to some) of a "tube" journey from Trafalgar Square to Green Park with a change at Piccadilly. Here St. James's Palace and the Processional Road led to Buckingham Palace and so back to the waiting coach. Next came a drive round the outside of Hyde Park and by, Regent Street, Shaftesbury Avenue, New Oxford Street, Holborn and Kingsway, past the Law Courts to St. Paul's Cathedral, finally to the Tower. The return route was largely through Kent.

Walking parties were led by the President from Lewes on to the South Downs; by Mr. Sydney Ashworth through the country round the Camp and also to Seaford.

There were many keen vegetarians at the Camp and much good-fellowship. Several wrote afterwards, saying they had enjoyed "the best holiday of my life."

So many willing helpers lent their friendly aid that it is not possible to mention them all, but special note must be made of Mr. Gerald Ashcroft, Secretary of the Vegetarian Cycling and Athletic Club, Mr. Sydney Ashworth Vice.Presjdent of the Sussex Vegetarian Society, Mr. Henry Joachim, the musician, from London, whose happy air of contentment was quite infectious, Mrs. Harry Gourlay, the Secretary of the Dublin Vegetarian Society and Mr Harry Reynolds, Treasurer of the Adelaide Branch of the Australian Vegetarian Society, who tried to augment the vegetarian diet by eating certain berries from the hedgerow that may be good for birds, but have a queer effect on humans. Our warmest thanks to all these good friends and to many others whose cheerful help made the camp run so smoothly.

We received so many requests for another Camp next year that the organisers will gladly arrange one, quite apart from the gathering of vegetarian youth at the International Vegetarian Congress in Sweden, for Sweden is too far for many of our young family to travel.

Such a Camp would have to be towards the end of August, after the Congress in Sweden, and those interested are invited to write to the International Vegetarian Union, 247 Tottenham Court Road, London, W.1, England, asking to be kept informed of developments.

The Camp was an experiment from which much experience was gained. The next Camp will be without these defects, so please let us hear from those who might be able to attend in 1953, and tell us what country you would like to meet in.

Report compiled from notes supplied by W. A. Sibly, Esq M.A., J.P., President,
and Hanworth Walker, Esq. Secretary of the I.V.U.

from The Vegetarian News (London) Spring 1953:


Will be held at Diekirch, Luxembourg, by the kind permission, and with, the warm support, of the Burgomeister, from 15th to 29th August.

Cost. - Our Luxembourg friends have not yet computed the cost of the camp, but this will, of course, be in strict accordance with such a gathering for youth.

Those who intend participating in this camp are invited to sedn their names and addresses as soon as possible to the International Vegetarian Union, 247, Tottenham Court Road, London, W.1, England, when further and more detailed information will be sent as soon as it becomes available.

There were no further reports of this camp and it does not appear to have taken place. Towards the end of 1953, the Vegetarian News carried a report of an International Vegetarian Summer Camp in the French Pyrenees, in August of that year. They were of "all ages" and "it was willingly conceded that this gathering was initiated from the I.V.U."

There was a youth camp held alongside the World Vegetarian Congress in Sweden in 1953, and at later Congresses in the 1950s and 60s, but the idea of a separate annual youth camp seems to have faded.