The Club

The Devas club is run from its own purpose-built four-storey building on Stormont Road, Battersea, London. Devas has provided a variety of activities for young people from this location since 1970. Over the years some of the activities provided have changed considerably. A dance studio, a recording studio and a silk-screen workshop now inhabit the space that historically housed a rifle range. The main floor also houses several social areas, a computer suite, table tennis hall and an art room. The upper levels provide a large gym with weights room, and several meeting and rehearsal rooms. There is an enclosed Basketball court on the roof.

By integrating into the broader community young people feel part of that community. A Community Café is run on two weekdays and local groups regularly hire space.

History

In 1884, Jocelyn Devas, a graduate of University College Oxford started a ‘Club for working lads’ in a room over a coffee tavern in Stewarts Road, Battersea. Two years later in 1886 Jocelyn was tragically killed in a climbing accident in Zermatt. Jocelyn’s Father enlisted the help of his Son’s friends, and funded an initiative to carry on the work that Jocelyn had started in Battersea.

Arthur L Harding was one of these friends, and was the guiding influence in successfully renovating and then moving to a larger premises in Thessaly Road in 1907.

The main purpose of the Club’s work was initially educational. As this function began to be fulfilled by the London County Council’s evening classes, sporting activities began to take precedence in the Devas Club activity programme. A club for girls, sharing the same building was started in 1960.

The move of the Covent Garden market to Nine Elms entailed the compulsory purchase of the Thessaly Road property. The City Parochial Foundation acquired an alternative site for Devas in Stormont Road and commissioned the building of the present accommodation. The building was officially opened in 1970.