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2021 End of Year Review

Club Review | Michael Stiff, Chair

Tuesday 14 December 2021

2021 started in Lockdown and, as I write, it looks as if we have narrowly missed ending it in one too.

The restrictions that Covid 19 unleashed on us has inevitably impacted the way the Club operates. We had our first live event of the year on the 26th of July, a visit to RSHP’s Centre Building at the LSE. We followed this up with a Late Summer Party in September, a visit to Wright & Wright’s Lambeth Palace Archive Library, and the Autumn Supper Debate at BAFTA in November.

That is not to say that the Club lay dormant for the rest of the time, our Spring debate, ”Gentle Radicalism” was virtual, we had online sketching and film making workshops, and a virtual visit to Foster + Partners Narbo Via Museum.

As a result of the vaccine roll out and society coming to terms with Covid, we are of course hopeful that 2022 will feel like a return to a form of normality. This is important, as good and as varied as the on-line events have been, we are a group of friends and colleagues, and the opportunity to meet is one of the main reasons we enjoy or membership.

2022 will mark our Centenary. The Club was formed over dinner in 1922 with the aim of promoting good architecture and denouncing poor. The first President was the poet Thomas Hardy and the Chairman, another poet, was JC Squire. The remit that membership should be a mix of architects, writers and others interested in fine architecture stands to this day. Our membership has grown in recent years and remains steady at around 330. We have a healthy mix of architects and non-architects. Just as importantly we have been seeking to increase the diversity of the membership across the board, I think that this was very much in evidence at our September drinks party.

As always, we would welcome any ideas that you may have for events, building visits and any other ideas that would mark our centenary, please contact me or any of the committee members if you have any thoughts. At committee level, Celeste Bolte has taken on the mantle of representing our younger members from Emily Watson who made great strides in establishing this important initiative. I would urge the younger and newer members of the Club to come up with ideas for 2022 that interest you, contact Celeste with any thoughts.

The committee meets four times a year, it is entirely voluntary. In this regard I would like to thank all committee members who work so hard helping to organise our annual calendar of events. Special thanks must also go to to Kim Britten, her efforts ensure that the Club is on a sound financial footing, and I would also like to thank Rowena Ellims for administering our affairs so smoothly and effectively.

We have agreed to freeze the annual subscription fee again.

With best wishes,