Oxford & St George's Club

Basil Henriques founded the Oxford & St George's Club in Cannon Street Road in 1914, a few months before the start of the First World War. Its name came from Henriques's university, Oxford, and from the area in the East End where it was situated, the parish of St George's.

Oxford & St George's began as a boys' club, but Rose Loewe, one of the club helpers, soon became director of a new club for girls. In 1917 Rose married Basil Henriques, and in 1919 they founded the St George's Jewish Settlement. The Settlement, in Betts Street, housed both the boys' and girls' clubs, and Basil and Rose Henriques lived on the premises. They were affectionately known as 'The Gaffer' and 'The Missus'.

The clubs provided social and educational activities such as sport, drama, ballet, and first aid classes, and held annual summer camps, which gave many children their only opportunities to go on holiday.

In 1929, the Oxford and St George's clubs moved to a former school building in Berner Street (now Henriques Street), Whitechapel.The move was funded by Bernhard Baron, a cigarette manufacturer, and on 9 April 1929 the new institution formally opened asthe Bernhard Baron Settlement. It catered for Jewish needs from the cradle to the grave, providing amongst other things a clinic for expectant mothers, a kindergarten, youth clubs, religion classes, adult activities, free legal advice and a burial scheme.

In 1973 when the clubs moved to Totteridge in north London and became a youth and community centre, the settlement was sold. This reflected a wider demographic change in London's Jewish community. Most Jewish people had moved away from the East End after the Second World War, into Hackney and then eventually further north into suburbs such as Edgware and Golders Green.

Alternate Names

  • Bernhard Baron Settlement
  • St George's Jewish Settlement

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