By Dan Scales
Journalist John Alfred Spender was one of Toynbee Hall’s earliest residents. He studied at Oxford and was enamoured with the teachings of Arnold Toynbee, Thomas Hill Green, and Samuel Barnett. He captured the atmosphere of the fledgling Settlement in his own words, providing a window into the appeal of Toynbee Hall, the opportunities it presented, but also the challenges and paradoxes it faced. Spender was an opportunist, using Toynbee Hall as a springboard for his own career, whilst still appreciating the Settlement’s merits.