In this way the club was able to keep open throughout the war but the
buildings were in poor shape afterwards, standing in a largely derelict
area. Essentially repairs were carried out and the club recovered its
vitality. Life in Lambeth had changed a good deal during the war and
there was no need for a large men’s club of the prewar type, although
an old members section was re-opened for those over 18.

Concentration was, therefore, on the youth work. From others’
experience elsewhere, it seemed advisable to have some mixed
activities and a small girls’ club was started. This was not really a
success as the premises were not suitable and no permanent leader
was available for the girls. Nevertheless it was an experiment which
had its eventual uses.

In these closing years in Lambeth Walk, the club had a steady
membership of about 200. Assistance from the voluntary helpers was
more difficult to obtain than before the war, this,apparently, being a
general experience. The premises were also beginning to show the
effect of age, but within these limitations a quite active programme was
carried on. H.R.H the Duke of Edinburgh visited Alford House in 1948
in the course of his tour of London Federation of Boys clubs.
From 1947 onwards, however, a serious problem had to be faced in
the order for compulsory acquisition issued by the London County
Council in respect of the club premises, which were to be demolished
as part of a general rebuilding scheme. No satisfactory alternative
building could be made available by the L.C.C who, in any case, were
not obliged to make such provision. There followed a period of intense
activity in the search for new premises which produced little until the
possibilities of the Moffat Institute in Aveline Street were brought up.
This building has been abandoned after it had been badly damaged in
the air-raids and has stood derelict for a number of years. The South
block (the old chapel) was only a roofless shell, and the North block
had no windows, doors, or fittings whilst the roof was partly off. The
main structure, however, was fairly sound.

Plans were prepared by the consultant architect to the National
Association of Boys Clubs, in collaboration with the executive
committee and with the warden, Mr Freeman, who undertook much of
the detailed work and thought behind the transfer. With these plans
support was sought for the scheme which involved considerable
expenditure on rebuilding and conversion.

To sum up the helpful co-operation received, the London
Congregational Union, in conjunction with the Moffat Trustees, agreed
to make a free gift of the land and of the buildings as they stood,
together with the benefit of any war damage claim, and the Ministry of
Education undertook a grant under the Social & Physical Training
Grant Regulations.