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About the Club
The Eccentric Club is one of the oldest private members' traditional social clubs in central London.
Known in its various incarnations as The Illustrious Society of Eccentrics, The Everlasting Society of Eccentrics and The Eccentric Society Club, it was once one of the most important institutions of British society. Its name is a long established and reputable brand, its members were amongst those who helped to shape British culture into what it is today, and its history is inseparable from that of Great Britain itself...
Founded a number of times by seemingly unrelated and socially different groups of people, for centuries it served as a meeting point for many great and original minds, pioneers of thought in artistic, literary, theatrical, scientific, legal and political circles, providing an amicable environment for their recreational and creative pastime as well as a testing ground for novel and controversial theories and approaches to the issues equally important to British society and all of the mankind.
First records of The Eccentric Club began in 1780s (though there are some earlier references to its conception in 1760s). Run by the political and scientific luminaries of the time, the Club almost immediately gained considerable respect and support from many members of the Royalty and aristocracy. In 1799-1803, The Society of Eccentrics was the talk of the town and experienced an unprecedented growth. The industrial revolution opened wide the gates to technological advancements all over the Empire, and many members of the Club found their rightful parts to play in it. Others became prominent figures in Law, Politics, Literature and Arts...
By 1880s the club lost most of its founding members and its premises. But on Friday night, 21st of November 1890, Jack Harrison, a theatrical costumier and the future father of popular actresses Phyllis Monkman, Dorothy Monkman and Beryl Harrison, had started an Eccentric Club of his own, strongly tying the name of the club to the theatrical stage. The Club's first President was Sir Charles Wyndham, an outstanding actor and theatrical manager, who, according to the legend, was the first to suggest “The Eccentric Club” as the name. Club's first home was at the premises of the old Pelican Club in Denman Street. In a few years time the club moved to 21 Shaftesbury Avenue, right into the heart of London Theatreland, and by 1914 to 9-11 Ryder Street, St James's, where it remained until its closure in 1984.
The present club was revived by a group of enthusiasts, members of other London clubs, in 2007, and was officially re-launched on the 29th of August 2008. The organisers received congratulations from HRH Prince Charles of Wales, Their Royal Highnesses Princes William and Harry of Wales, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, Marquess of Bath, Mayor of London Boris Johnson, actor David Prowse, performer Elton John, writer Peter Underwood, writer Nicholas John Storey and many others.
In 2009-2011 the Eccentric Club had an agreement with the Arts Club of 40 Dover Street, Mayfair, allowing the Eccentric Club members to use the Arts Club premises. Since 2011 the Eccentric Club members meet primarily at the Savile and Oriental Clubs, though some events are held at other clubs and venues.
Apart from the convivial element of our club life, we take seriously the charitable traditions of our predecessors, raising funds for many good causes in Britain and abroad.
We also believe that it is essentially important to preserve for Britain and mankind the heritage of our ancient club and to highlight and celebrate the eccentricity itself, as it was understood by our predecessors – the innate ability to ignore the well-trotted routes of the others and to invent own original ways, find surprisingly fresh approaches to the long decided issues, proudly demonstrating to the rest of the world the great mosaic of possible solutions and points of view. And, as we know from the history, the world has often followed the eccentrics and acknowledged their genius.
Postal address for correspondence ONLY: The Eccentric Club (UK), 27 Old Gloucester St, London, WC1N 3AX. Telephone: 0845 224 1781
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The Eccentric Club name, logo and motto are registered trademarks. All rights reserved © The Eccentric Club (UK) Ltd, 2007-2014.