Parsons Green

Abbey House in Westminster had been the home of The Boys’ Brigade since the union with The Boys’ Life Brigade in 1927. Prior to this, the offices at Paternoster Row had been the headquarters of the BB but were soon too small for the newly amalgamated organisation. Situated on the first floor of a former hotel on Victoria Street, and overlooking Westminster Abbey, Abbey House had been the headquarters of The Boys’ Brigade during its Jubilee in 1933, throughout the Second World War, and at the time of great celebrations for the anniversary of the birth of the Founder in 1954. However, by the late 1950s it was evident that Abbey House could no longer meet the needs of a growing organisation. The Boys’ Brigade had been tenants in Abbey House and the lease was set to expire in 1966 when the site would be due for major renovations. This convinced the Brigade Executive that a permanent headquarters in London was needed and, in order to achieve this major financial commitment, Major General D.J. Wilson-Haffenden (Brigade Secretary) launched an Appeal Fund. The first meeting of the Appeal Committee was held in December 1959 with the aim to raise £100,000 from 1 March to 4 October, 1961. After years of long and diligent searches up and down London, where sites ranging from derelict churches, warehouses, and office blocks were considered, Parsons Green was discovered and became the happy and final choice. 

Parsons Green, located in a relatively quiet and secluded part of Fulham, was chosen as headquarters for both The Boys’ Brigade and The Girls’ Brigade. This was a momentous occasion for the kindred organisations with increased scope for closer connections in the sphere of youth work.