Our Bicentenary Year


2018 marked the Bicentenary Year of The Clifton Club. Throughout the year, our community of Members held various celebrations, special events and raised funds for our partnered charity, Brandon Trust.

The Bicentenary Celebrations were launched on 8th March when 120 Members gathered at the Club for drinks and canapés. The Bicentenary Exhibition was showcased in the Centenary Room for Members to see historical artefacts and photographs of The Club throughout our 200 years. A huge thank you to Tim Mussared, Club Archivist, for creating this spectacular journey through time.

A highlight of our 200 year history occurred when The Clifton Club was delighted to host a visit from HRH, Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex on March 6th 2018.

Upon arrival to the Club, HRH Prince Edward, was escorted by honorary Member, Lord Lieutenant Peaches Golding and introduced to The High Sheriff of Bristol Mr Anthony Brown and The Lord Mayor of Bristol Mrs Lesley Alexander. 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 many Members of the Club.

The Chairman then introduced The Prince to the Club’s Bicentenary Exhibition, hosted by Club Archivist Mr Tim Mussared. The Clubs’ exhibition included original artefacts from the Bristol City Records Office that date back to 1815 and photos throughout the ages.

A luncheon designed for the Earl’s visit by Executive Chef Philip Clench was served in The Dining Room before His Royal Highness unveiled The Club’s Stained Glass Window to commemorate our 200th year. The window was commissioned by local artist and Club Member Lindsay Telling of Waterfront Glass and depicts The Clubs’ crest and Bicentenary dates. The Earl was also kind enough to sign the Visitors 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.”

Various fund raising opportunities were undertaken such as Club Chairman Jerry Barnes, Club Members Delphine Barnes and Chris Mair and also Members of Staff Emma Davidson, Sarah Davidson and Amy Edwards completing The Great Bristol 10k on Sunday 13th May in aid of the Brandon Trust, raising over £2000. In addition, On Saturday 16th June The Club hosted The Great Brandon Bake Off in The Drawing Room, whereby our very own ‘Mary Berry’, Liz Annesley and ‘Paul Hollywood’, Head Chef Philip Clench, provided expert adjudication upon an array of exquisite baked goods supplied by Members and The Club Staff. There was a wonderful turnout for morning coffee and cake tasting, accompanied by a pottery stand by the talented Banwell College. Members were able to donate unwanted goods to Brandon Trust and the event ultimately increased The Clifton Club’s contribution to the Brandon Trust to over £4,000.00.

On Wednesday 19th September The Club played host to 70 Members and their guests for an exclusive opportunity to hear legendary Guest speaker, Geoff Miller OBE provide an enthusiastic and comical after dinner speech. This was followed by a Rugby Q & A Panel featuring Stuart Barnes: Bristol, Bath, England, British Lions and Sky Sports, Stephen Jones: Chief Rugby Correspondent of The Sunday Times, Ed Morrison OBE: 1995 Rugby World Cup Final Referee and Roger Uttley: Former England Captain. Members had kindly donated sporting artefacts to raise funds along with the ticket price donation from each guest, all in aid of our Bicentenary Charity; Brandon Trust. The evening was a huge success and raised a fantastic £2775.00 for the charity.

A huge thanks to all of the speakers who attended, as well as Colin Doak and Simon Fuller for their tremendous efforts in organising this event.

On Wednesday 3rd October 2018, The Chairman hosted both current and past Committee Members, Directors, Trustees and past Chairmen for a bespoke lunch to celebrate the 200 year anniversary of The Clifton Club. A three course fine dining experience was designed by Head Chef Philip Clench which was enjoyed by all who attended. Those who attended celebrated this occasion by wearing Club colours and toasting to our 200 year history.

On Saturday 6th October, Club Members enjoyed a spectacular evening at the annual Founders Ball. Previously, this event has incorporated Moulin Rouge, Shakespeare, 1920’s, Arabian Nights, Masquerade Ball and Alice in Wonderland themes, which have strongly established this event as the most highly anticipated throughout The Clifton Club’s social calendar.

The Bicentenary Founders Ball was certainly one that will be remembered by those who attended forever more. The Ball incorporated a Black and White Tie theme with Members attending in traditional tails and long gowns. The menu, designed by Head Chef Philip Clench incorporated the Black and White Theme, inclusive of Quail egg, arame seaweed, sesame & lime to start; squid ink risotto & halibut and a cardamom & white chocolate parfait, liquorice & toffee ice cream amongst the menu.

Entertainment included Sax in the City during arrival; The Students of the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School sang beautifully between courses before 18 piece band, Boulevard Swing filled the dance floor with Members who proceeded to dance into the early hours.

On Tuesday 30th October, The Clifton Club was honoured to host Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of the County and City of Bristol, Peaches Golding who unveiled The Clifton Club’s Bicentenary Plaque.

The Plaque has been erected on Clifton Village Library, which was the House to The Clifton Club in 1818, before our move to where we remain today, Number 22 The Mall.

The Plaque States:

“This building was erected in 1818 as the Clifton Club Rooms. It was sold in 1851 as schoolrooms for children of the industrial classes. The Clifton Club moved into Clifton Hotel and Assembly Rooms in The Mall where they remain to this day. In 1965 the Christchurch Schools relocated to Royal Park, and this building became the library for Clifton.

This Plaque was sponsored in 2018 by The Clifton Club. In conjunction with The Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society.”

Various annual festive events throughout December saw Members bring the 200th year of The Clifton Club to an end in the most spirited fashion. The Club is incredibly proud of our long standing history and hosting such a vibrant and active community of Members who made our 200th one which will be never forgotten. Thank you to everyone who attended the Club over the past year, and we look forward to what the next 200 years will bring!