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Oxford House and its Clubs

Football teamAlthough founded under religious sanctions, Oxford House was not simply a place for religious work. Social and recreational activities were just as important in the Settlement movement as the Church, and it was under this philosophy that three clubs were founded in the first five years of its existence; the University Club, the Webbe Boys Institute and the Oxford House Club. Whilst the University Club and Webbe Institute grew rapidly and were moved to external premises within Bethnal Green, the Oxford House Club remained within the house itself. University Missions at the East End, Oxford House, Bethnal Green

Within these clubs, various activities were held which included football, boxing, cycling, camping and hockey, where each of these were chosen to help the disadvantaged youth of Bethnal Green develop into well rounded individuals. These clubs were only open to young boys and teenagers at the beginning, but by 1940, Oxford House Girls Club was founded, and mixed camping activities in the summer were brought into use.

These were not the only clubs founded under the Oxford House name. The Oxford House Musical and Dramatic Society, founded in 1909, often performed at the Excelsior Hall, and were so successful in 1912 with a performance of “Dream of Gerontius” that they were invited to perform at the Queen’s Hall:

1955-56_source OH Annual Report_copyright by OH_The Canoe Club“The chorus of praise from all the critics…..bore ample testimony to the excellence of the choir, and to the patience and skill of their conductor.”

Another such club was the Repton Boxing Club. Founded in 1895 by Oxford House as a recreational activity for the especially poor young boys of the area, the club gets its name from the school which helped it continue today. Repton remains one of the foremost and famous boxing clubs in the world, and still has premises in Bethnal Green.

Though the original clubs at Oxford House may have faded in name, they remain in spirit through the various dedicated youth clubs and activities that the house offers today, ranging from ballet to yoga to carpentry. Through these clubs and societies, Oxford House aims to continue its social mission as a community centre.

Do you or any of your relatives have any memories and stories about the historic clubs of Oxford House? If you do, please get in touch via email at or via Facebook and Twitter by searching “Oxford House”

Text: Saffia Saddique and Laura Newby

1.    1937 Oxford House Annual Report. Oxford House.
2.    1953/54 Oxford House Annual Report. Oxford House.
3.    Extract from University Missions at the East End, Oxford House, Bethnal Green. Look and Learn.
4.    1955/56 Oxford House Annual Report. Oxford House.






Oxford House in a Changing World Workers and Welfare: Living Conditions of the 1800’s East End On This Day... 30th November 1891 WANTED: Archivist for heritage project Fascism in the East End The Blitz The Original Oxford House Conscientious objectors The Welsh Schools The Excelsior The Effects of World War I in Oxford House War Memorial The Inauguration of the Oxford House Building 1892 From Oxford House to Local and International Stardom In the Spotlight: the Repton Boxing Club and Oxford House Hensley Henson, Oxford House leader The Kray Twins Alfred Soord, The Crucifixion. Oxford House Chapel Women and Oxford House Oxford House and its Clubs Why you should donate to save our secret chapel The Bethnal Green Tube Tragedy The Webbe Boys’ Club Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Super Kid (a.k.a. Eddie Marsan) Save Oxford House's 'Secret' Chapel Oxford House and Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram Our resolution? Raise all the funds to start our major heritage project Post War Regeneration of Bethnal Green Weavers’ Fields and the Huguenots Guy Clutton-Brock: from Oxford House to hero of Zimbabwe WWI: Zeppelins or ‘Take me back to dear old Blighty’ The Hidden Gem: Oxford House Chapel History in the making Oxford House and Ben Uri Gallery The Chapel Oxford House Musical and Dramatic Association 1903 Oxford House Arms: Dominus Illuminatio Mea Why is Oxford House listed as Grade II Heritage? Heritage Lottery Fund - 'Oh! ‘wins’ the lottery' Who designed Oxford House? The Boys and Men’s Clubs in the 19th and early 20th century Why a new building in 1891? Rise under Rev. Winnington-Ingram How it all begun. Clubs and activities at Oxford House 1884 Who created Oxford House? What is a settlement? 130 Not out! Our pre-history: The Oxford Movement From Victorian Gap Year to Community Hub
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Oxford House
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020 7739 9001

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