The Iyengar Yoga Institute, 470 New Cross Road, nestles between Addey and Stanhope School and one of the houses in front of the Zion Chapel.
The shield in the centre of the pediment bears the words ‘’Established 1866’’, but enter the front garden and you find a small plaque underneath the left hand window that tells you that it opened as the Yoga Institute on 14 December 1994.
What was established in 1866 was the New Cross Building Society but in the 1880s the house was the private residence of William George Fulcher who died on 11TH March 1887. The earliest mention as the building society’s headquarters is in 1901.
The society was there until 1984 when the Registrar of Friendly Societies closed it down. The society went to the High Court and won, but the Court of Appeal re-instated the Registrar’s decision. It had been a relatively small society until the mid 1970s but in 1977 the board had embarked on a plan to expand the society. The assets grew from £ 6 million in 1974 to £103 million in 1982, but the reserves failed to grow in proportion to the society’s business.
The Master of the Rolls Sir John (later Lord) Donaldson in the leading Appeal Court judgment commented:
“Another disturbing feature was the decision to raise £10m through the wholesale money market…”
By the middle of this decade the closure and judicial comment had been forgotten and rapid expansion and raising loans on the money markets had become the normal way of doing financial business in the UK.
By 1987 the buiding had become Deptford Seventh Day Adventist Church, but they subsequently moved to Devonshire Drive in Greenwich.