Staff and Members of The Club were delighted to host a visit from HRH, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex. The Prince was joining the celebration of the Club’s Bicentenary and meeting representatives from their nominated anniversary charity, Brandon Trust.
2018 marks the 200th year of The Club which started as a humble institution for gentlemen to enjoy cards, reading and games and has developed into the millennia as a popular meeting place for both gentlemen and ladies with a wide social conscience. On arrival at The Club, escorted by Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding, The Earl was introduced to The High Sheriff of Bristol Mr Anthony Brown and The Lord Mayor of Bristol Mrs Lesley Alexander, both public figures with a keen interest in community and charitable organisations in Bristol. Also greeting The Earl were Miss Amy Edwards, The Club’s General Manager and Mr Jerry Barnes, Club Chairman who escorted His Royal Highness to meet Members of the club and through in to a Bicentenary exhibition.
The exhibition included original artefacts from the Bristol City Records Office that date from as early as 1815, and photos of The Club through the ages, this provided a fascinating insight into the original architecture. The exhibition was collated by Mr Tim Mussared, The Club Archivist.
Jerry Barnes, The Club Chairman said: “This year, 2018, is very significant for The Clifton Club as we celebrate our 200th anniversary. Personally I struggle to appreciate The Club’s longevity! To put it into context, the Battle of Waterloo was in 1815, just three years earlier than The Club’s establishment, which is quite a remarkable fact!”
Whilst in the Snooker Room, The Earl also met Mrs Bonnie Dean, Chair of trustees from Brandon Trust, who will be working with The Club this year to raise awareness of the work they undertake to help support adults and children with learning disabilities and autism. The community projects run by the charity offer people a chance to learn new skills, are creative, productive and importantly, to have the opportunity to undertake paid work or volunteering. The Earl of Wessex is passionate about organisations and causes which provide opportunities for disadvantaged people, and was impressed with Brandon’s mission to increase people’s ability to ‘Live Free’ by helping to support them to achieve their own ambitions. The snooker room at The Clifton Club is full of original features with two full size tables, and The Earl couldn’t resist playing a few shots with Alexander Warman, a young person who has benefited from the Summer Camps organised by Izzy Clarke of Brandon Trust. The fundraising efforts of The Club and its Members will be looking to provide two Summer Camps within 2019.
Amy Edwards, General Manager said: “To have The Earl visit us and recognise the work The Clifton Club undertakes is a huge honour, one that we won’t forget!”
A luncheon designed for the Earl’s visit by Executive Chef Philip Clench was served in The Dining Room. His Royal Highness then unveiled a stained glass window to commemorate the 200th year of The Club. The window was commissioned by local artist Lindsay Telling of Waterfront Glass and depicts The Clubs’ crest and bicentenary dates. The Earl signed the visitor’s book and thanked the Members and guests for their hospitality. Before leaving he took a moment to speak with and thank the staff for their service.
Club Chairman, Jerry Barnes said: “It is a great honour to have welcomed His Royal Highness The Earl of Wessex to The Clifton Club to officially launch our 200th anniversary celebrations. He took a real interest in our history and charitable work and you could only be inspired by that.”