The Albany has played a vital role for the people of Deptford for over 100 years. It was originally established in 1894 as the Deptford Fund - its official name still today - by a group of philanthropically minded people. The Fund's founders wanted to improve the plight of Deptford's community, many of whom suffered from poverty and deprivation and the adverse effects of unemployment as a result of the closure of the docks in 1869.

The Deptford Fund provided financial support for local charitable enterprises, but within a few years decided to fund its own projects within a purpose built centre. In 1898 the foundation stone of the Albany Institute was laid and in 1899 the building, on the corner of Lamerton Street, Albury Street and Creek Road, was officially opened by its patron, the Duchess of Albany.

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The Duchess of Albany visting Deptford

The laying of the foundation stone of the Albany Institute

The origin of the Deptford Fund and the opening of the Albany Institute