About this Archive
Eton Manor Boys’ Club was founded in 1909 and its magnificent clubhouse in Riseholme Street, Hackney Wick was opened in 1913, on the site of the Manor Dairy Farm. The Club was funded and run by four Old Etonians (Arthur Villiers, Gerald Wellesley, Alfred Wagg and Sir Edward Cadogan) until it closed in 1967.
The clubhouse, together with its nearby sports ground (The Wilderness), provided first-class sports and social facilities for boys aged 14 to 18, and who subsequently became members of the Old Boys’ Club. Eton Manor Boys’ Club boasts many former members who became international sportsmen, including European Welterweight Boxing Champion Nicky Gargano and Olympic gold medallist Harry Mallin. The boys received coaching from many leading sportsmen over the years, including Sir Alf Ramsey and England cricket captain Douglas Jardine.
The running track used at Wembley for the 1948 Olympics was purchased by Arthur Villiers and re-laid at the Eton Manor sports ground for the boys to use. A neat historical coincidence is that the former Eton Manor Boys’ Club site will form part of the 2012 Olympic site.
Membership of the Boys’ Club was a key formative experience for its members, who benefited not only from the sports training, but also from meeting prominent visitors brought to the Club by the four philanthropists who founded it – including military leaders, statesmen, city bankers and aristocrats.
Scope and content
- Minute books of the Eton Manor Boys' Club, 1911-1951.
- Photographs and photograph albums of Eton Manor Boys' Club grounds (including Riseholme Street and the 'Wilderness'), sporting teams and activities, special events, Eton Manor Old Boys' events and several framed items (1911-1980)
- Copies of Chin-wag, the magazine of the Eton Manor Boys' Club (incomplete), 1913-1966.
- Books, many signed with dedications, from the Eton Manor Boys' Club library, n.d.