HISTORY OF THE CENTRE
In 2020 a group of games players got together with the British Go Association to raise funds for a new kind of venue – somewhere specially designed for and dedicated to the mind sports we all loved.
We found the former Salvation Army Hall in Dalling Road was up for sale. It seemed absolutely ideal, and we put in an offer. After a bidding process that seemed to last forever, in December 2020 we were lucky enough to have our offer accepted.
The building has a fascinating history – it was originally the Albion Congregational Church. You can read more about it here.
The British Go Association contributed funds from a legacy left by Go player T Mark Hall. Bridge players from the Young Chelsea Bridge Club and Chess players from the Hammersmith Chess Club contributed, as did Bridge and Chess players from far and wide. In all we raised over £2 million.
In December 2020 lockdown was still in force, and it was a race to find some builders who could get the place into shape in time for a return to face-to-face games. Again we were lucky when former Young Chelsea staff member Ula Kaczorowska, now running the team of builders London Renovators Limited, took on the challenge with her husband.
Our plans to give the old place a lick of paint and then open were of course hopelessly optimistic. Ula quickly identified much more would be required. We put together a team of architects, electricians, heating engineers, plumbers and lots of other professionals. The team pulled out all the stops, putting in a new power supply, new heating, new plumbing and carrying out asbestos removal, reconfiguration and redecoration. Enough of the work was completed in time for us to open in August 2021.
Since then, many games players have passed through our doors, and we have had nothing but positive feedback.
We’ve also had lots of local groups and individuals using the Centre including a film company who needed a “green room” while filming in the local area, a photographer running a dog photoshoot and we’ve added a weekly Meditation session to our offerings.
We are the permanent home of the London Go Centre, Hammersmith Chess Club and the Young Chelsea Bridge Club who run the Centre. All these clubs welcome visitors to their games. Come and see for yourself.