Harry Allick

Harry Allick

It is with great pleasure that I can present an interview with Harry Allick who was taught to swing Indian Clubs in  the late 1940’s by his father who had a very strict approach to discipline.

Harry Allick and his lovely wife Pat have very kindly provided some photographs from Harry’s childhood. I originally found a link to Harry on YouTube, and contacted Mike Simpson from Sheffield Club Swingers, so that we could make contact.

Living Treasures

In the world of Indian Club Swinging, people like Harry Allick and Susan Poulos are both living treasures. They both learnt to swing clubs before the discipline disappeared into oblivion in the middle of the last century. I am very honoured to have been able to present both their stories on this website to share with you all.

Harry Allick instructs at Mike Simpson’s Sheffield Indian Club workshops on a regular basis.

Harry Allick has been swinging clubs since 1944

Club swinging styles and other exercises

  • Traditional Military
  • Free Style
  • Fancy Indian Club Swinging to Music
  • Also age related aerobic type exercises etc.

My Type of Clubs

An assortment of light to medium weight Traditional Style Indian Clubs & Sceptre’s (Tear drop style clubs). Plus swinging other types of novelty equipment.

A short history of my club swinging experiences

Harry Allick 1During the late 1920 to 1939 period my father and a colleague ran a Gymnasium in Lancashire the gym covered all the traditional type exercises, including Boxing; (Traditional type British County and Greco-Roman style wrestling). He was also an exponent on Indian Club Swinging Exercises, along with Swedish massage, and a trainer for many local sports clubs etc.

This photo was sent to my father during the war.

Following his return home he expected great things from me, and was disappointed with my infant outlook towards physical exercise!

My father insisted on my learning Indian Club Swinging.

He was a traditionalist and would practise the swings with me and from the age of 11. He would play military music for me to swing to for our exercises. I was expected to wrist swing with my arms outstretched with the lighter weight clubs for periods between 10 to 30 minutes with just about 3 heart shaped swings every 5 minutes. He would also do the same workout with me with his black Sceptres (Tear drop clubs).

Exhibition Group

From the age of 5 up to the age of 15.  I performed at many local and charity events as part of his gym exhibition group, or stand alone performance’s swinging clubs weighing from 4ozs up to 1lb each.

From the age of fifteen I began an apprenticeship and left club swinging until my late twenties, when both my daughters then wanted to learn the art of Indian Club Swinging.

My Father and the girls Granddad was very happy

The girls Granddad was very pleased and took them under his wing, and from the ages of 7 and 9 they enjoyed the art, my father teaching, and me sorting the music, choreography and non traditional swings, along with alternatives to the basic clubs! My daughters performed at many events around Lancashire, with my oldest daughter appearing on (ITV’s Junior Showtime).

Clubs to help me keep fit

During their later teenage years, again the clubs was laid to rest, only being used for a basic work “now and then” by myself.   During the past 20 years I have again used the clubs to help me keep fit and in reasonable health, also giving shows at many events. In addition “and to my delight” my oldest granddaughter has now shown interest and has begun here own unique style of Indian Club Exercises this has added to my ageing enthusiasm.

Harry Allick on YouTube

I have found as age related problems are beginning to show, they are slowing my fingers, hands and arm movements. I thought it best to put my old skills on video and post them to “YouTube.”

Following this Paul Wolkowinski along with Mike Simpson contacted me.

Together their enthusiasm has regenerated and encouraged me to remember and conduct my father’s strict form of traditional Indian Club Swinging.  (Together with quite a few more self-taught swings!)

A picture of My Father 1920 /30 era

I cannot find a positive date for this picture and event.  Only from “word of mouth” I believe my father did an endurance swing of 26 hours and his purple did 3.5 hours!

Harry Allick+T.Allick

I cannot find a positive date for this picture and event.  Only from “word of mouth” I believe my father did an endurance swing of 26 hours and his purple did 3.5 hours!

Harry Allick+T.Allick+Lily Lawre

My picture taken circa 1948 at a local concert/review for the disabled, the clubs had been wrapped to make them larger and more visible for the audience, they were also decorated with sequins.

Harry Allick 2

I left school at the age of 14 and entered a trade related occupation, requiring study at night school for three days a week, my clubs were used only a few times a year.

Wicked Uncle Ebenezer swings Indian Clubs

At the age of 14 I performed in a local pantomime called “Aladdin” with my father’s sceptres (tear drop clubs) as the wicked uncle Ebenezer, also Pat my wife to be was cast as the Genie in the production.

That was the first and last time over the past 60 years in which I’ve heard Pat say YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND.

The clubs were stored away for many years

After getting married to Pat.  The clubs were stored away for many years until both my daughters at ages of 7 & 9 found them and inquired about their use. The result from this newly found interest was manna from heaven to my father, as they both took to the exercises like ducks to water.

The photos and information listed below say it all. Again from the pages 13 & 15 my daughters gave up with the clubs and equipment manufactured for their exercises.

Harry Allick 3 Girls

Harry Allick 4 Girls

Harry Allick 5 Girls

Harry Allick’s YouTube Channel

Location:- lives in Egremont, Cumbria, England.

A big thank you, Harry and Pat Allick for taking the time to talk to me and sharing your story.


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