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time and talents and dockhead youth work

Dockhead was the setting for some significant developments in clubwork. As well as the pioneering boys' work undertaken by Oxford in Bermondsey, Time and Talents also did interesting work with girls and, significantly, with mixed groups. The first Dockhead club run by Time and Talents was established in a disused warehouse in 1903 at 1 Halfpenny Avenue (close to the Oxford in Bermondsey club for boys). They later moved to a shop in Jamaica Road, and then to an old public house in George Row - The White Hart. The area around them was condemned as unfit for human habitation - and as part of the rebuilding effort Time and Talents was offered a site to build a large, purpose-built club. The new Dockhead Club (on the corner of George Row and Abbey Street) opened in 1931 and had a large hall, club rooms, library, chapel, protected roof playground and five rooms for residents. The work included girls groups, cub and scout packs, and, crucially, mixed club work. The last took the form of the 50/50 club (the name was decided through a vote). It opened in the autumn of 1931 and was an experiment championed by the then warden, Honoria Harford. Another key figure in the development of clubwork was E. Lesley Sewell (1901-1975).

Reference: Daunt, M. (1989) By Peaceful Means. The story of Time and Talents 1887-1987, London: Time and Talents Association.
picture: dockhead house (on the left above the prefabs) just after the war
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