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As you can see from the Google view, the house is boarded up and doesn't seem to have had anyone involved with it for some time
I haven't as yet found out much about the buildings early years but it does seem to have been owned by an organization called the St Christopher's Fellowship for some considerable time, possibly going back to the Second World War. The Fellowship was originally a Victorian charity and the the work of three friends who sought to improve the lot of young working boys. Their website has a nice potted history and mentions that one of the three founders, Arthur Kinnaird, was an early footballing 'superstar'! A quick look on Google shows that he was a little more than that and amongst many other fascinating remarks I particularly enjoyed the fact that he celebrated his fifth Cup Final victory by standing on his head in front of the pavilion as well as his enthusiasm for a bit of 'manly' shin-hacking!
Kinnaird played for both the Wanderers - a highly influential early team based in Battersea Park - and the Old Etonians but what the potted history misses was the fact that one of the other founders Quintin Hogg - was not only a merchant, philanthropist and grandparent of our own Lord Hailsham, but was also a player for the Wanderers himself and actually bettered Kinnaird in representing Scotland twice to Kinnaird's single appearance (although I'm sure the fact he was one of those responsible for organizing the first ever match had no bearing on the matter!) The third member of the triumverate, Thomas Pelham, doesn't seem to have played himself but was certainly influential in establishing youth clubs for boys and was a university friend of the others.
Lord Kinnaird ready for a game. Watch out shins!
Those Feet - A Sensual History of English Football by David Winner who notes how they were both heavily involved in the social purity movement including being vice-president of the National Vigilance Association, a fairly extreme and aggressive group involved in '...campaigns and prosecutions against 'indecency' and 'immorality' wherever they imagined it... which was almost everywhere'. All three of these gentlemen seem to be perfect examples of 'muscular Christians' who advocated sport - and lots of it - as a means of keeping energies and attentions away from less 'wasteful' pursuits.
As far as I am aware the premises in Kingston Road might still be owned by the Fellowship as up until a few years ago the building was being used as self-contained hostel accomodation for young men. However it was also for many years the headquarters of the Trinitarian Bible Society as well as providing office space for a number of other organizations. DECO Consulting, SCF Services
and the St Pancreas Foundation amongst others all seem to have operated from the address, although the name of the building seems to vary - Nelson House and St Christopher House being two favourites and The Look Out never being used!
The factory building out the back is the most intriguing though. There were rumours that the premises had suffered at the hands of German bombers and I suppose it could be that they inadvertently cleared some space at the rear of the building. What is certain though is that the space was occupied by another Victorian Christian organization The Trinitarian Bible Society whose 'primary function is to translate and disseminate worldwide Bibles in languages other than English' . Their aims would have matched perfectly with those of the St Christopher Fellowship and for many years they used The Look Out as a warehouse for the despatch of bibles and other religious tracts around the world. Whether it was their decision to leave The Look Out and move into larger premises in an old telephone exchange in Morden that finally led to the abandonment of the building or whether there were other factors at work I'm not sure, but it's a pity that what must once have been an imposing building and a beacon of hope to many individuals on hard times should find itself in such a poor state of repair and with a seemingly bleak future.
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