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harold salmon and the cambridge university mission

Cambridge University Mission (now the Salmon Youth Centre) was founded in 1907as medical mission with a boys mission club and residential settlement. The chief instigator was the Rev. Harold D. Salmon (who became the first head of settlement - 1907-21). Concerned about the condition of young people in Bermondsey he gained the support of a group of Cambridge evangelicals (partly based around Ridley Hall). A building on Jamaica Road was bought and refurbished in 1907; further land and new halls added in 1910. A girls branch followed in 1916. In 1922 the name changed to the Cambridge University Mission Settlement. The early workers were described by Eagar (at the nearby Oxford and Bermondsey Club) as a 'stricter section of Low Churchmen'. Certainly Salmon was to fall out with the local vicar of St James and appears to have given a wide berth to the other local settlements.

A significant number of Cambridge undergraduates and graduates found their way to the Mission - sometimes during vacations, often when undertaking further study in London (especially medical training). While the residential element had to close during the Second World War (the building was also damaged by a land mine) it reopened in 1947/8 - and uniquely among BASSAC members has continued up until today. The buildings were significantly rebuilt during the 1950s, then demolished in 2004/5 for a redevelopment which included a sports hall, drama space, chapel, residences, and some housing (provided with Hyde Housing).

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