Victoria Club

Date Established:
1901
Date Trading Ceased:
Dec 1991
Victoria Club

The Victoria Boys' Club was founded in Fordham Street, in the East End, in 1901. At the time, huge numbers of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe were living in the area, mostly in very poor and crowded conditions. The club provided various activities for local Jewish boys including sports such as football, swimming and gymnastics; drama; outings to London attractions; excursions to the countryside; and annual summer camps, often on the Isle of Wight.

The camps were particularly popular because they offered inner-city boys a rare opportunity to leave London for a holiday by the sea. The boys took part in organised sports and outings, helped with cooking, cleaning and general maintenance of the campsite, and relaxed in the fresh air.

During and after the Second World War, Jewish people began to move out of the East End. Most went north into Hackney. In 1955, reflecting this demographic change, the club moved to Stamford Hill, where a Girls' Club was added. The club raised 75,000 to create a purpose-built facility next to the New Synagogue in Egerton Road, to serve the 'growing generation of Jewish children for whom there are insufficient Clubs'. When it opened in 1957, the new building had a membership of 400 and a waiting list. The activities available to club members included handicrafts, cookery classes, photography and dancing as well as a full range of games and sports.

Alternate Names

  • Victoria Boys' Club

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