Highbury Roundhouse was initially founded by the late Major Bay Hodgson, who served with distinction in the Household Cavalry. After retiring from the Army, Bay settled in Highbury. It was not too long before Bay realised that there was plenty of work to do in Highbury, in helping young people who had nowhere to go and nothing to do.
To understand why and how the community centre came about, we need to go back to the early 1970s, when youngsters would often hang out at the "roundhouse" that is now the playground keeper's hut at the bottom of Highbury Fields. Bay and others in the neighbourhood had the foresight to not just simply want to move them on but actually do something for them. He managed to obtain permission from the then GLC, to use the now-demolished "bottleworks" building at 71 Ronald's Road as a youth club.
Before that could happen, the building had to be refurbished. Bay and a group of local people managed to raise a number of grants from the local authority and commissioned a project with the Manpower Services Commission to build the new centre. Some of the refurbishment was done by a group of young people with the help of a skilled tradesman. Over the years, Bay, together with other members of the community, directed the organisation into a thriving community centre.
A new community centre was built on the old site and it has opened in February 2023, providing space for a range of activities to help our younger service users increase their skills, encourage aspiration and help them attain their full potential, whilst at the same time being able to care for our older residents and put a stop to social isolation.
To be the heart of the community
Our Strategic Aims
To improve people's wellbeing, opportunities and social networks
To build a strong local community
To increase integration into our social cohesion and civil involvement
To serve a large cross-section of the community
To provide essential services for our community
To tackle social isolation for both young and old
To help community groups deliver services
Encourage aspiration and support young people to reach their full potential