The Harrow Club has a rich and vibrant history, which feeds into what the community centre is today. The Harrow Mission is a charitable organisation founded in 1883 due to a recognised need for provision in what first Missioner William Law described as a ‘forlorn, neglected and desolate’ area. The energy behind the Club has always come from a desire to improve the quality of life for local people, aiding social harmony and promoting opportunity.
Set in the historically deprived area of Notting Dale, the Harrow Club originated as The Harrow Mission Church both funded and designed by Old Harrovians. This connection firmly established in the Club’s heritage, the Harrow School community has remained an important facet of the Club’s identity to the present day. Boys have traditionally been involved in fundraising for the Club, whilst many have taken on coaching and supervisory roles into their adult lives. Our connection with the Harrow family is something we are proud of as a Club. We actively seek opportunities to collaborate with Harrow School and ex-pupils.
By the 1960s the facility had ceased to be used as a church and the Harrow Club was given permission to take over and convert the whole building. Run initially for boys only, and then allowing girls on a once-a-week basis, the Club became fully integrated in 1967 and today boasts a diverse membership which accurately reflects the community in which it is set.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s the Club acted as a means through which residents were able to address local authorities with regard to the high-rise buildings and the motorway developments which characterise the area’s modern landscape. Notable as a particularly desolate time for the local area, the Club was able to retain a sense of community and positively focus local energy. Throughout the 1990s to the present day, families of members are encouraged to become involved with the Club’s activities, organising weekends away and running coaching sessions, making the Club a truly communal enterprise towards which local residents feel a sense of responsibility and pride.
The Harrow Club has adapted as times have changed without ever losing sight of its founding principle. We are confident that the commitment of our staff, trustees, and volunteers, as well as the enthusiasm of members themselves, will ensure that the Club will be well equipped to continue serving its community into the future.