OLD PLYMOUTH . UK
www.oldplymouth.uk
 

  Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: October 09, 2020
Webpage updated: October 09, 2020

        

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THE PLYMOUTH CLUB

At the corner of Lockyer Street and Windsor Terrace, Citadel Road, was the Plymouth Club.

Its owners, the Plymouth Club Limited, was formed in 1876 and it soon acquired what was originally known as number 1 Windsor Terrace for a club house.  During the work to turn the house into a club house the main entrance was moved to Lockyer Street.  At that time Mr H J Waring was the chairman of the Club and Mr F B Westlake the honorary secretary.

The principal contractor was Mr Verren.  Messrs Rundle and Brown undertook the painting and decorating; Mr Ruse manufactured the furniture; Messrs Popham and Radford supplied the carpets; Mr Goulding provided the silver sand electroplate; Mrs Cole supplied the glass and china, all bearing the coat-of-arms of Plymouth and the name "The Plymouth Club"; Mr David Sale, of Devonport, installed the Leamington Range; Mr Hawkings supplied the gas fittings; Messrs Plimsaul furnished the culinary utensils; Messrs Page, Keen and Page supplied the handsome  clock for the coffee-room; and Mr Cock arranged the electric bells and speaking tubes.  A Mr and Mrs Hodge were appointed the steward and stewardess.

From the tiled entrance lobby a flight of stone steps led on the one hand to the main apartments overlooking the Hoe and on the other, by way of a corridor, to the smoking-room, billiard-room and other rooms still under construction at the rear of the building.  At the head of the steps was a waiting-room for non-members who wished to speak with members.  This was described as 'a great convenience, and one which is not always to be found in club land'.  Apparently the real reason for its existence was that the members did not wish their employees, who might have to call on them, to see the opulence of the place where their masters spent their time in convivial pursuits.  The largest room on this floor was the coffee-room, measuring 35 feet by 30 feet.  Other stairs gave access to the basement.

The Leamington Range, along with a gas stove and a grillery, were in the large kitchen in the basement, where there were also a scullery, a laundry, a stewards' room, and a waiters' pantry.  In the extension under construction at the rear were the beer and wine cellars, a larder, and store-rooms.  There was a lift to the floor above.

Adjoining the lift on the ground floor was an office equipped with electric bells and speaking tubes to all parts of the house.  Each have indicators to show from which room they are being activated.

On the first floor was large reading-room, overlooking Plymouth Hoe and the Sound.  It measured 35 feet by 17 feet and had plate-glass windows.  To the rear of the first floor, overlooking Plymouth, was a private dining-room for those members who did not wish to dine in the coffee-room.  It had a magnificent mahogany sideboard and plate-glass windows.

On the second floor, at the front overlooking the Hoe, was a chess-room, from which the bands playing at the Hoe Bandstand could be heard, with a smoking-room next door and a non-smoking-room at the rear.  Telescopic card-tables, designed by Mr Westlake, the secretary, were provided.

The extension at the rear of the house was to contain bowling and skittle alleys in the basement, with a n office for the secretary, a cloak-room fitted with lockers, an additional smoking-room, measuring 24 feet by 20 feet, lavatories and a billiard-room measuring 38 feet by 26 feet by 21 feet high.  There were going to be two billiard tables surrounded by raised morocco covered seats.

Over 6,000 was spent on the extension and furnishing the Club.  By the time of the first Annual General Meeting on Thursday March 1st 1877 the Club had 251 members.

Mr John George Dinnis was secretary of the Club for a long while.

During November each year, when the new Mayor of Plymouth was appointed,  the Club hosted a Mayoral Banquet, which before the amalgamation in 1914 was usually attended by the Mayor of Devonport and the chairman of the East Stonehouse Urban District Council along with the Mayors of Saltash and Exeter and the chiefs of the Royal Navy and garrison.  The Banquet in 1939 was attended by the Commander-in-Chief, Admiral Sir Martin L Dunbar-Nasmith VC.

In March 1941 the Plymouth Club was laid to ruin by German bombs.  Two magnificent stain-glass windows designed by Mr Leighton Fouracre were destroyed in the air raid, along with all furnishings, plate and records.  At a meeting of the shareholders in April 1950it was decided that the Club was not likely to be rebuilt and the Company should be put into liquidation.  Mr J A Northcott was duly appointed as liquidator.

The site remained empty until the Plymouth Register Office was constructed.