The Press Club Annual Dinner, (Winston Churchill), London, 1903
Founded in 1882, The Press Club was one of London’s famed gentleman’s clubs; based near Fleet Street it was primarily for journalists, and had a reputation as one of the most “raucous” clubs in town (which shouldn’t surprise anyone who knows any journalists).
The menu cover for its 1903 dinner, held at the grand Hotel Cecil on the Strand, just down the road from Fleet Street, hints at the lavish food and drink on offer. Inside we find a menu full of delicacies and treats – along with a toast list, and pictures of what we presume are the club’s board, most senior members, and their guests.
The Press Club’s president, Lord Burnham, was the owner of the Daily Telegraph. Unfortunately we don’t know much about the other chaps pictured – save for one young MP, Winston Churchill. Aged just 28 at the time of this dinner, Churchill had been a journalist and a soldier before entering politics – it’s interesting to see a glimpse of him here in public life, many years before his most famous and controversial roles.
Courtesy Private Collection.
Each print is accompanied by a copy of the interior menu or cover.