Loyalty & Service - Jimmy Butterworth & Clubland
VHS Colour Sound 1998 10:57
Summary: The story of the Reverend Jimmy Butterworth, a Methodist minister who established Clubland – a Christian youth club on the Walworth Road in 1932
Title number: 3357
LSA ID: LSA/4406
Description: The film tells the story of Clubland Methodist church on the Camberwell Road and its creator the Reverend Jimmy Butterworth. The story is told through old and contemporary footage and interviews with his children and friends.
Butterworth was born in Lancashire and served in the Fusiliers during the First World War where he met people interested in boys’ clubs. After theology college he became a minister but had an urge to do social work as well. His first job was in the Walworth Road where he felt the church was unsuitable for young people. He believed that if the church and a club combined it could provide a complete environment for both the spiritual and the physical. He created Clubland for boys and girls and through sheer force of personality got people to donate. A donation bought a stone in Clubland and many celebrities of the time such as Cecil B de Milne, Gracie Fields all have their names carved there. From 1922-1939 Butterworth struggled but by 1939 had succeeded in raising enough money to build Clubland and Queen Mary opened the building on 20th May 1939. A large part of Clubland was destroyed during the Blitz but Butterworth was determined it was rebuilt and in the aftermath of Second World War Two went to USA to raise funds. He met enough people on the boat to the USA to lecture from one end of the country to the other. He met Bob Hope who put on a charity performance at the London Palladium and the proceeds went to the club. But structure and discipline of the club old-fashioned and there was a new generation supported by welfare state and entertained by TV who wanted to come and go to a club as they pleased. Butterworth thought this would change but became depressed when it didn’t. He retired in 1974 with his health in decline. Eighteen months later he passed away. The Methodist church in the Walworth Road has a thriving congregation and hoped that redevelopement will provide tomorrow’s needs for the community.
Credits: James Steel (Producer)
Cast: John Butterworth, Mary Gray, Peggy Lyle, Dr Gordon Lyle, Frank Neal OBE
Keywords: Camberwell; interview; Minister; Methodist; Biography
Locations: Walworth; Camberwell.