Thursday, 27 Jan 2022

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985


The Story

1885, on Christmas eve, to be precise, was the first meeting of the Ipswich Suffolk Club Company Ltd. The Articles of Association declare the Company to have been formed.

Queen Victoria was on the throne, she had been there for almost fifty years. Russia threatened the borders of Afghanistan. In New Mexico they were playing cowboys and indians for real. General Gordon had just died and Sarah Bernhardt faded away before the footlights.

To return directly to earth, a new wooden pavement was to be laid in the Butter Market at 5s/3d per square yard, presumably to tidy the place up for a personal visit by Dr. Barnardo.

The motor car was being assembled in small numbers, Alcock and Brown hadn't yet crossed the Atlantic and the Titanic was a dream on the drawing board.

In Ipswich the Museum in High Street had just been opened and Christchurch Mansion was still occupied by the Fonnereau family, the Borough of Ipswich took it over in 1896.

Two other institutions share our centenary. The local Ipswich Evening Star newspaper, or Star of the East, as it was known, and Roedean. The Club has had little contact with the 'Star' as we have always shunned publicity, although Bertie Elkington the Editor was a prominent member. As for the ladies of Roedean I can't imagine they concerned the members of 1885 too much.

These pieces of quite useless information merely set the time scene for a light hearted review of the Club over the past 100 years.

Records make no' mention of the existence of a Gentlemen's Club before 1885. Many of the members had close connections with the iaw. It is quite possible that the Club was quickly put on to a proper legal footing. The Company was formed on September 1st 1886.