New Club

From Powerbase
Jump to: navigation, search
The doorway to the New Club in Princes Street, Edinburgh


According to the Website of the New Club:

The Club's earliest records date from 1787 when it met in Bayle's Tavern in Shakespeare Square at the east end of Princes Street. The Club then acquired its own premises in St. Andrew Square before moving to its present site in 1837. Today's building dates from 1969.


NUMBER 86 Princes Street is a very anonymous door in the heart of Edinburgh’s retail precinct. It is the entrance to the citadel of Edinburgh’s Establishment, the place where deals are done and the capital’s real movers and shakers congregate...
The New Club plays an integral role in Edinburgh’s commercial life, for businessmen come here to hold discrete business lunches or entertain visiting clients in sophisticated surroundings. And royalty - the Duke of Edinburgh attended a dinner at the club last month, during the Queen’s Jubilee visit to Scotland.[1]

According to sources at the New club:

"The New Club has always been home from home. What is interesting is that the club today is still going strong, and that is because it still offers the ultimate retreat and last word in discretion. Many members are related to those who joined from previous generations.
"Why else does Sir Sean Connery stay there when he’s in Edinburgh and still feel very happy to muck in and join other members at the club table?
"The membership numbers have never been higher, and lots of younger ones are signing up - whatever the allure of other new clubs on the block." [2]


According to George Kerevan of the Scotsman, writing in 2002:

Joining the New Club involves an old fashioned risk - that of blackballing. Potential new members are sponsored by existing members in good standing, and their application goes on view. Members who wish to reject the candidate can signal a negative. If enough members veto your application, tough luck.
The membership roll is very private but occasionally names are mentioned. The former chief executive of the local Scottish Enterprise company, Des Bonnar, came under press criticism for having his membership fee paid by the taxpayer. Bonnar defended belonging to the club on the grounds it was a good place to do business on behalf of the city.
The New Club’s persistent refusal to admit women to full membership is one of the last manifestations of the old, smug, complacent Edinburgh before the recent boom. But in today’s Edinburgh not being able to have the chief executive of Lloyd’s-TSB or the Principal of Napier University as members marks the New Club dangerously anachronistic.[3]
‘And, if the latest issue of Who's Who is to be believed, no fewer than 16 of our judges are members of that dismal essay in 1960s modernism, the New Club in Princes Street, Edinburgh. Some day, someone will disentangle the strings of power and influence that radiate out from that peculiar establishment (with its own swimming pool) above the Princes Street shops.’[4]
‘[Martin] Frost also rubs shoulders with the establishment figures who dominate the exclusive New Club in Edinburgh's Princes Street. Yet being a fairly gruff Englishman, born in Stafford and raised in Lancashire, he is aware that he is very much the outsider. That seems to suit him, for he is often to be found crossing swords in court with those he sits beside at lunch.’[5]