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Hoxton's Crown and Manor Boys Club appeals for new members after flood-hit HQ is rebuilt

PUBLISHED: 10:00 20 May 2016

Andrew Gray from the club with some of the Crown and Manor boys (Picture: Ken Mears)

Andrew Gray from the club with some of the Crown and Manor boys (Picture: Ken Mears)

Archant

A youth club that has been improving the lives of boys through sport and education for more than 75 years is finally back up to speed after severe flood damage.

Recovery: The Crown and Manor boys' club was hit by flood damage six months ago (Picture: Ken Mears)Recovery: The Crown and Manor boys' club was hit by flood damage six months ago (Picture: Ken Mears)

Crown and Manor Boys Club in Wiltshire Row, Hoxton, has been offering youngsters an escape from the stresses of life since 1939.

But six months ago, the deceptively huge state-of-the-art premises were hit by flooding from the flats above and many of the activity rooms were taped off.

That led membership numbers to drop and the club, which held a reopening event last month, is now looking for more boys to join in with the range of activities.

Club manager Frank Shillingford says the mix of sports and education – members must agree to take at least one class a week in subjects including maths, Spanish, guitar or homework clubs – has helped produce professional footballers and boxers, teachers, Premier League coaches and hundreds of university graduates.

A mix of sports and education: Club members must agree to take at least one class a week (Picture: Ken Mears)A mix of sports and education: Club members must agree to take at least one class a week (Picture: Ken Mears)

“It always makes me smile when you see the success stories,” he told the Gazette.

“We were the first club in the country to start a football academy where the boys would do a course in the morning and come here to do football in the afternoons.

“In 2007 after that stopped we started introducing educational classes. The boys are competitive in their sports but they are competitive in their grades, too.

“A lot of them that have gone on to coach or teach come back and help out as volunteers.

Appeal for new members: The boys getting active during a football session this week (Picture: Ken Mears)Appeal for new members: The boys getting active during a football session this week (Picture: Ken Mears)

“We have boys of all nationalities.

“We don’t care who they are outside, but when they walk through that door they are Crown and Manor.”

The club’s reputation has wielded links with Deutsche Bank, who provide teachers, and grassroots organisation Sported.

The annual membership is just £3.50 with an average payment of 60p for every visit – the cost is tiered by age but no one pays £1.

Classes run from 4.30pm to 9pm every day of the week.

The club is especially looking for basketball players to take part in session every Friday night.

For more information about joining the Crown and Manor, visit the club website: crownandmanor.org.uk

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