14 FEBRUARY 1920, Page 12


OF THE " SPECTATOR."/ SIR,—With the conclusion of hostilities it is intended to increase the number of Boys' Clubs in London, in the hope that every boy, on leaving school, may have the chance of joining some Club, or similar organization, where he can spend his spare time to greater advantage than in his overcrowded home, or in the streets.

The Federation of London Working Boys' Clubs represents at present over 100 Boys' Clubs, large and small, in all parts of Greater London, and, with the prospect of a vastly larger number of Clubs, it becomes essential to put the Federation into such a position that it will be capable of co-ordinating the work all over London, assisting in case of need those Clubs which are unable to help themselves, and giving new Clubs and their managers the benefit of its thirty years' experience.

The policy of the Federation has been to stimulate that spirit of loyalty to a team or Club, learnt unconsciously by means of sports and games, which serves also to teach a boy to recognize and perform his duty to the State in time of need. How deep a sense of duty existed amongst the members of these Boys' Clubs was shown during the first years of the war, when nearly every member, on reaching military age, voluntarily enlisted, and boys of fifteen and sixteen clamoured to be allowed to do the same.

The Federation has never previously made a public appeal; it has no funds, and its income of £150, subscribed by a few friends, is totally inadequate to carry on the work. It requires at least £1,000 a year to enable it to assist Clubs which have no support such as is accorded to those backed by the Public Schools or Colleges, to defray the cost of competitions, and to pay a good'Secretary and office expenses.

In making this appeal the Committee of the Federation wish to make it clear that the Working Boys' Clubs are not run as charities, but that, to the best of his ability, each member pays his way. It is, however, essential that there should be some central authority, and for this purpose' the Federation of London Working Boys' Clubs exists, but it can only do so if supported by voluntary contributions.

All subscriptions and donations will be gratefully received by the Hon. Treasurer, F.L.W.B.C., 41 Memorial Hall Buildings, Farringdon Street, London, E.C. 4.—We are, Sir, &c.,