Caledonian Club

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The Caledonian Club
Founded 1891
Home Page www.caledonianclub.com
Address 9 Halkin Street,

Belgravia,

LONDON,

SW1X 7DR

Clubhouse here since 1946
Club established for Scots
Club motto Floreat Caledonia

The Caledonian Club is a members' club in central London, for Scots in London and their guests.

History[edit]

The club was founded in 1891 as a proprietary club, based in Charles II Street, London SW1. It became a members’ club in 1917 when the Marquis of Tullibardine appealed to Members to make it "the representative national club and headquarters for Scotsmen in London".

Membership[edit]

Membership requires at least one Scottish grandparent, or to have served, in the opinion of the committee of the Club, “in an important capacity in the public service of Scotland”. Most Members are Scots.

The membership comprises a wide cross-section of professions, including lawyers, accountants, bankers and stockbrokers but also professional sportspeople, ambassadors and members of the armed services.

John Logie Baird, inventor of television was a Member. John Smith QC, MP, leader of the Labour Party until his death in May 1994, was a Member and regular user of the club, and occasionally brought young new Members of Parliament to the club, including, in 1984, the newly elected member for Sedgefield, Tony Blair.

Other notable members have included Lord Mackay of Clashfern, Lord Advocate (1979-84), a Lord of Appeal in Ordinary (1985-87) and Lord Chancellor (1987-97).

Location[edit]

The club was originally located at 33 St James' Square. It moved to its present location at 9 Halkin Street, London SW1, behind Hyde Park Corner, on 17 October 1946.

Halkin Street is named after Halkin Castle, Flintshire, a seat of the Grosvenor family, Dukes of Westminster, who still own the freehold. The house at 9 Halkin Street was built for Hugh Morrison, a politician first returned to Parliament in 1918 and a wealthy landowner. The clubhouse at Number 9 was the last mansion house of its kind to be built in London.

In 2005-06, it was substantially extended with a new wing providing much enlarged facilities, including a new library, public rooms and many new bedrooms. The new wing was opened by Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, on 30 November 2006.

Societies[edit]

The Club has established various societies:

  • Members of the Golfing Society play regularly at prestigious courses throughout the UK, including Loch Lomond, The Berkshire, Woking, and Archerfield, and on an annual visit to France, usually Le Touquet. A unique putting contest takes place within the clubhouse at the annual social evening and guests are tested on their golf knowledge thereafter.
  • The Racing Society has two horses in training at present "Caledonian Lad" and "Port Charlotte". Members may buy shares in a syndicate or become supporters: they are informed when horses are racing and have the opportunity to attend races using owners’ and trainers’ facilities. They are kept up-to-date with progress by means of a regular e-newsletter. The AGM and annual dinner is also an opportunity for Members to hear from the trainer on their horses’ progress.
  • After lunch at the Club on the first Tuesday of each month, a well-known speaker is invited to talk to The Number 9 Society. Past speakers have included politicians, Scottish sports personalities, captains of industry and ambassadors.
  • The Bridge Society meets informally on Mondays, sometimes playing against other clubs.
  • A small number of keen amateurs make up the Snooker Society, which also meets informally as well as playing in an annual competition against other London clubs.
  • The Shooting and Fishing Society hosts numerous events throughout the country, including a highly sociable competition against the New Club, Edinburgh.
  • The Musical Society organises a series of performances by world-class young musicians in spring and autumn.

The Burns Club of London, The Caledonian Society of London, The Royal Caledonian School and many other Scottish organisations meet regularly at The Caledonian Club, and The National Trust for Scotland's London Branch is situated within the Club.

Other clubs[edit]

There are reciprocal arrangements with clubs in Scotland (the New Club in Edinburgh, The Western in Glasgow, Royal Northern and University Club in Aberdeen and the Royal Perth Golfing Society) and County and City Club, London and the south east, and some 60 clubs worldwide, including the Hong Kong Club, the Hurlingham Club in Argentina, the Royal Bachelors' Club in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the Australian Club.

External links[edit]

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 51°30′03″N 0°09′10″W / 51.5007°N 0.1529°W / 51.5007; -0.1529