Clubland’s Hidden Treasures

24th March 2022 - 18:00 to 18:45

Clubland’s Hidden Treasures

By the Rev’d Sam Aldred

A Talk for the Clifton Club

Thursday 24th March 2022 6pm

Who gave the Caledonian Club a snuff box made from a taxidermied ram’s head? Why is there a statuette of the Buddha in Pratt’s? And what is Napoleon’s death mask doing in the library of Brooks’s?

In this light-hearted talk the ­­­Rev’d Sam Aldred will reveal some of the highlights from his “marvellously entertaining” book, Clubland’s Hidden Treasures: a look at the art and artefacts in the clubs of Great Britain.

Whilst some of these objects are treasures in the literal sense – such as paintings by Edward Millais and Sir Joshua Reynolds – others are more… peculiar. There is an axe wielded by a prime minister, a decoupage folding screen made by a disgraced army officer whilst he was in prison, and a section of a Georgian water pipe on which Voltaire saw fit to comment.

The cast of characters includes princes and prostitutes, prime ministers and prize pigs. From White’s to the Beefsteak, the Savage, to the County Club; behind every item there is a tale worth telling! 

About the Author

Sam Aldred was educated at Oxford. He worked as a perfume salesman in Kazakhstan and a schoolmaster in Brighton before entering the Church. He is now a priest at the civic church of St Mary’s in Swansea, and chaplain to the University of Wales Trinity St David. A keen joiner, Sam is a member of as many clubs and societies as will have him, and has founded a couple of his own. Dubbed “the Vicar of Vice” by Idler magazine, Sam has written articles on clubs, Central Asia, boarding schools, and cocktail recipes in a variety of obscure publications. Clubland’s Hidden Treasures is his first full length book. 

This is a free event for Club Members, Guests welcome. Please book your places with The Club Office 

Praise for Clubland’s Hidden Treasures

 “marvelously entertaining” – Alexander Larman, author of The Crown in Crisis (2020)

“witty and beguiling … this is a captivating, page turning read” – The Chap

“This is Clubland’s version of The History of the World in 100 Objects… [a] charmingly eccentric book.” – The Salisbury Review

 “Sam Aldred has conjured up some truly fascinating material and presented it with style and verve, with humour and wit.  This is a book for the clubocracy to relish.” – David Palfreyman OBE, author of London’s Pall Mall Clubs, (2019)

“Excellent!” – Harry Mount, editor of The Oldie

“Very jolly, very convivial and fascinating to boot, Clubland’s Hidden Treasures is a compelling portrait of these very British institutions.” – Tom Hodgkinson, editor of Idler