Our history dates back to the mid 1800's.
It begins with a number of ‘Lads Clubs’ which had sprung up in the poorest parts of Manchester and Salford. They were founded amidst the squalor and poverty of Manchester’s Victorian society and as a solution to the growth of what were known as ‘Scuttling Gangs.’
Scuttling gangs had come to prominence in many of the poorest communities in Salford and Manchester. Representing and defending particular streets, these gangs would meet on waste ground and battle one another using a variety of lethal weapons.
Our founding clubs, such as Adelphi Lads Club and Ragged School, Sharp Street Lads Club and Ragged School, Openshaw Lads Club and Ardwick Lads Club amongst others, provided a means by which young lads could gain a basic education and vent their energies in a range of positive and purposeful activities. Many of these clubs had memberships in excess of five-hundred boys.
That movement continued to grow until they came together in 1907 under the banner of what was then called the Manchester & District Federation of Lads Clubs, now called Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Manchester. The aim was to offer a broader platform for competition, residentials and training, and to bring together young lads from the different areas of the county.
Whilst many of the original clubs have disappeared or are under new ownership, the movement continues today with the same ethos of providing a broad programme of positive and purposeful activities and training for the young people and volunteers of our affiliated clubs. As well as finding our clubs in Manchester & Salford, they can now also be found in Trafford, Stockport, Tameside, Rochdale and Oldham.