Wednesday, 26 Jan 2022

The First 100 Years - 1885 - 1985

His departure in 1960 saw the end of residential facilities within the Club. In 1952 Bed & Breakfast was 12/6 per night and £3.13.6 per week. Various minutes record members tardy payments of their dues, reductions requested for nights away and comments about the food. In 1925 permanent residents paid 30/- per week or 5/6 for bed and breakfast as a temporary guest. Mr. Elkington had a special room, which one(s) is not recorded but they cost £2 per week.

Lunches have always been served, and have been, as they still are, the focal point of the daytime activity of the Club. In 1928 a five course lunch was 3/6 (17 1hp). Some of the younger members of the day protested, so Leslie Harrison tells me, and a three course meal was produced for two shillings and sixpence (121hp). Interesting to note that whereas today a partial subsidy gives us a cheaper lunch than is available outside, the comparable price at Limmers (a good class restaurant on the Cornhill and later in the Butter Market) was only two shillings (10p).

In the late thirties, one of the crisis periods for the Club, an economy drive forced the members to make do with only cold food and sandwiches at mid-day.

Harold Hooper, a larger than life character, architect by profession, a great advisor to the Club, introduced the Snug.

A small room originally furnished, if the word could be used, with a hotch potch of odd tables and chairs, an electric fire, about as warm as a glow worms ear, accommodated some of the leading representatives of the Law. What furnishings lacked in comfort was more than compensated for by the joking, ribbing and near slanderous remarks which flew across the tables. Tribute is paid to the witticisms on a small tablet explaining "More people have been insulted in this room than in any other room in Ipswich - in the nicest possible way, of course".

So revered was this tiny room that Geoffrey Barnard during his first stint as House Chairman persuaded the Directors to refurbish the Snug with purpose made seats and tables. The architect made the first tables so small that two dinner plates could not be placed opposite each other. The additional 4' banding has not destroyed their appearance. We left uncovered an interesting carved bracket, part of the original structure of the building. This same bracket design is to be found on the Pykenham Gate and on many other Suffolk timber frame buildings. At one time the food without service was a few pence cheaper, which could have been an added attraction to the room!