News Archive: Year Two
News Archives: view stories from Year One of the Club (October 2006 to September 2007), Year Two (October 2007 to September 2008), Year Three (October 2008 to September 2009), Year Four (October 2009 to September 2010), Year Five (October 2010 to September 2011), Year Six (October 2011 to September 2012), Year Seven (October 2012 to September 2013), Year Eight (October 2013 to September 2014) and Year Nine (October 2014 to September 2015)
To see many splendid daguerreotypes documenting the Club’s antics, click here.
30th September 2008
The Cook, The Cakes, The King and His Table
At our September meeting Mr Alexander Frankland Hepburn treated us to an eye-popping, mouth-watering lecture on The Architectural Cakes of Antonin Carźme. Carźme was an orphan of the French Revolution whose genius made him an international celebrity chef, working, at various times, in the kitchens of Napoleon, Alexander I, the Prince Regent of England (later George IV), Talleyrand, Lord Stewart and Baron James de Rothschild. But he himself believed his true calling was actually as an architect, and this manifested itself in his elaborate table centrepieces and architectural confectionary. Nevertheless, he was clearly no slouch at rustling up grub too, and he invented quite a few things we take for granted, such as the vol-au-vent.
Mr Hepburn in a Punishment Tie, tsk tsk; a vol-au-vent; a heart-warming array of NSC ties…
2nd September 2008
The Tashes Trophy Final
Last Saturday saw the Club’s annual battle between those with facial hair and those without. The battleground was the Robert Evans Memorial Ground in Roehampton, south west London, which resounded to the thwack of leather on willow (and Willow wasn’t even there) and ripples of seemly applause from the picnicking spectators. A full match report will follow, but for the time being all you really need to know is that there was a certain amount of running about but in the end the winners, as in the previous two years, were the clean-shaven coves. Must be something to do with aerodynamics. Unlike last year, however, the weather was splendid.
Cirque de CrŹme Anglaise Comes to Town
Just as the weather smiled on us for the Tashes, so too last Thursday was a balmy evening—although this was irrelevant as the salient event took place inside a low and windowless bar: the Cirque de CrŹme Anglaise, an evening of music, and a little poetry, with a theatrical, humorous flavour, hosted by the beat combo The Furbelows. Not a NSC event by any means, but six Members appeared on the stage and many more were lurking in the audience.
Niall delivers a typically understated performance; Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences deliver a slice of surrealism pie
Ian White’s Wonderland
Mr White Writes:
The Sheridan 2008 Pub Crawl
Briefed as taking in the fine area of Maida Vale and some fine architectural pubs, we assembled in the Mad Bishop & Bear, situated in a shopping complex above Paddington Station. A bar somewhat slightly out of place in the development, it nonetheless severed fine Fullers beers and as a good meeting point.
Our glorious summer weather of dour precipitation played a part in our taking a heads-down approach and a quick pace along the along canal side and past Little Venice, thwarting a gentle amble and the taking-in of scenery. We had a quick pint at The Warwick Castle, in Warwick Place a multi-roomed pub of mixed clientele in a small mews. Another quick stride in the rain on round the corner to the splendid Prince Alfred, Formosa Street, a Victorian traditional plate glass and wood pub with 5 separate “snugs” on CAMRA’s National Inventory. The snug’s entrance proved much fun, as we had to limbo our bodies in order to enter, but once settled we sampled a range of beers from Bombardier to Budvar to German wheat beer.
A perambulation along Clifton Road led us to The Robert Browning, a Sam Smiths pub. (Their beer is a favorite among Sheridan Club members so we had to fit a trip in to one of their establishments!) Lastly, now the rain had stopped, we had a slightly longer route to the wondrous Warrington Hotel, Warrington Crescent, another on CAMRA’s National Inventory. Although there was a 1920’s evening taking place in one of the bars, despite our fine attire the door staff refused us entry to said event. We managed to secure our entrance to another bar and after managing to procure a table by gently edging out its inhabitant, then settled down to some fine beers. I recall a number of Hopback’s Summer Lightning being consumed, before it all went hazy…
Robert Beckwith and Ian White in the Prince Albert; Bunty in the Warrington Hotel
13th August 2008
Tristan Gallops Through Afghanistan
At our August meeting Mr Tristan Langlois of the National Army museum gave us a break-neck guide through the history of the British Army in Afghanistan; yes, we’ve been there several times before, yet never seem to learn from our experiences. (We do OK at winning the war, but always fail to win the peace.) The eyes of many a male Member (as it were) lit up at the sight of the historical uniforms that Mr Langlois had torn down from the museum’s displays and brought in for the meeting, and three lucky chaps got to try them on. Hearty thanks to Mr Langlois for his entertaining and educational address.
Mad Dogs and Englishmen
The Club’s Summer Party took place on Saturday 19th July at Positively 4th Street, an establishment that bills itself as “a New York bar in London” but actually has a very Oriental interior. Against a backdrop of mechanical punkahs and a thousand tea lights, we were entertained by the “chap hop” stylings of Mr B. the Gentleman Rhymer, some Noel Coward crooning from pianist Joe Paice and some bug-eyed social awkwardness from resident poet Niall Spooner-Harvey. There was also a quiz to match old colonial names to modern countries, a fiendish physical puzzle to steal grave goods and the hugely successful indoor tiger shoot—the tiger in question was a cuddly toy eight inches high.
Congratulations to all our Grand Raffle prize winners—especially “Chuckles” Younghusband who won the splendid Lock’s pith helmet and Bunty who won the weekend in the luxury Miller’s Residence boutique hotel and case of gin, courtesy of Martin Miller.
Thanks go to our sponsors, James Lock of St James’s, the Albion Emporium, Fever Tree tonic water, Pachacuti Panama hats and, of course, Martin Miller’s gin.
Fruity takes aim in the indoor tiger shoot; Lobby Lud sings songs of the Empire; Dickie is presented with the rubber plantation starter kit—a rubber plant, a macheté and a neckerchief
Many more daguerreotypes may be viewed here.
Anarcho-Dandyist Flame Rekindled at Chap Olympics
This year’s incarnation of that celebration of sporting inertia, devious indolence and proud foppishness that is the Chap Olympiad took place in a secluded dell on Hampstead Heath. The shift in location was presumably partly to hide the occasion from undesirables and partly because, in the absence of corporate sponsorship from Hendricks, Bedford Square Gardens was out.
In fact until participants actually got there they were mostly pretty unsure exactly where it was—the more dedicated had collected a series of tokens from Chappist retailers as instructed in the The Chap magazine; these tokens gave a series of directions from Hampstead Heath railway station. The less dedicated simply followed the others. After a few false starts, wrong turns, blind alleys and good-natured joshing, cursing, kicking and gouging, everyone made it to the Arcadian spot. Picnics were disgorged, picnickers were engorged and eventually the games began.
In addition to old favourites such as the 100 Yard Saunter, the Pipe-Smokers’ Relay and Hop, Skip n’ G&T, there were new events too, such as Chap Wrestling, against someone called Chap-O-San and inter-hirsute duels armed only with plastic lobsters. See more pictures here.
6th July 2008
Horatio Spins Yarns of Jungle Adventure
At the July club night Committee Member Horatio Scotney-Le Cheyne recounted tales of his recent five-month stint in the darkest jungle of British North Borneo. He was dispatched out there as a photographer attached to Raleigh International, an organisation which gives disadvantaged youths a taste of the rigours of the colonial experience. Horatio’s slide show gave us a picture of daily life in the colony and how these toerags reacted to it. Mr Scotney-Le Cheyne seems rather ambivalent about how much good the whelps really get out of it, but he himself came back a changed man, so in love with the jungle that he has subsequently joined the TA in the hope of developing his bushcraft skills further. Glimpse some of his daguerreotypes here.
Mr Scotney Le-Cheyne orates; a new visitor is rapt; Mrs H.’s brother Paul, himself a dive instructor in Thailand for half the year, made a rare, and sartorially challenged, appearance. (He makes a point of always closing his eyes when people point cameras at him.)
The assembled throng devour Horatio’s images of the jungle. That’s Mrs Scotney-Le Cheyne in the black and white dress
Our Glorious (and hitherto seemingly ageless) Chairman, Torquil Arbuthnot, has apparently turned a milestone and recently celebrated his birthday at the Punch Tavern, in London’s City district. Even Gustav Temple himself, editor of The Chap, was there.
Highlight of the evening had to be the expression on Torquil’s face (and the twinkle in his eye) when his special birthday treat arrived—in the form of burlesque dancer Rose Thorne and her award-winning routine “Squaw Blimey”, in which she does a rain dance, gets the rain and then decides she really has to get out of those wet clothes…
Flt. Lt. Fruity Hatfield-Peverel also celebrated his birthday recently and threw a party to mark the occasion. The theme was The Home Front and the venue was the upstairs room of the William IV pub, a space that seems to have been decorated with Fruity in mind.
We were treated to a screening of some of the Fruitster’s collection of Second World War public information films, lashings of grub (not all strictly period, but then how much powdered egg do you really want?) and even some swing dancing. A splendid time was had by all. (Particularly Ed, an American chum of Isabel Von Appel, whose disintegration is documented on the cover of this magazine. I’m told that the next day he could remember nothing of the evening…)
Ensign Polyethyl Becomes Media Star
Should you have tuned your wireless in to the British Broadcasting Company’s frequency recently you may have heard our own Ensign Polyethyl gushing about her stint in Iraq with the TA. “It’s such fun!” is one phrase that sticks in the mind. I gather she was also on the noctovision and there is an article on the BBC website too.
Moreover, thumbing through a copy of Soldier magazine (don’t ask why) I came across a feature detailing the heroic antics of some ordinary TA worthies—as told in comicbook format. Below is Jessie’s adventure. She tells me it didn’t really happen like this at all, but when interviewed by the journalist she got the impression that the pictures had already been drawn…
7th June 2008
Members Live Life Through a Lens. Briefly
The June meeting of the New Sheridan Club was fortunate enough to feature a talk by Member Mr Lee Sayer on The History of the Camera. Mr Sayer brought with him a mysterious black box from which he produced about eight different cameras for the audience to inspect, included a marvellous wood and brass replica of an early number and some models he had made himself of pinhole cameras and the like. Many thanks to Mr Sayer.
Mr Sayer with his wonderful replica vintage camera; the Curé gets curious about technology (possibly for the first and last time ever)
Chairman Torquil Arbuthnot is taken back to his childhood…
The hallowed halls of the NSC briefly resembles a paparazzi scrum
12th May 2008
Art Deco Trinkets on Display at Eltham
Last Sunday half a dozen of us paid a visit to Eltham Palace in south-east London. It’s a treat under normal circumstances, with wonderful Art Deco interiors as installed by the Courtaulds in the 1930s, but on this occasion the medieval great hall was also host to an Art Deco fair. Stall holders offered jewellery, clothes, prints furniture and more, including a cocktail cabinet that had to be the star of the show (see below). I bought some handsome enamel cufflinks and probably would have hovered up more had I not run out of cash. Perfect weather and an agreeable picnic in the grounds made for a splendid day out.
A pleasant picnic is had by the palace walls. (L-R) Fruity, Isabel von Appel. Mrs H., Miss Minna and Glorious Chairman Torquil Arbuthnot
Stall-holders begin to pack up at the end of the day, yet this cocktail cabinet, undoubtedly the star of the show, went unsold.
Members Quaff Whisky in the Pursuit of Knowledge
Last Saturday saw the first Club whisky tasting, at the Coach and Horses, site of our summer party last year, The Last Gasper. Those attending sampled five difference spirits (if memory serves, Monkey Shoulder blended malt, Glenkinchie 10-year-old, Glenfiddich 15-year-old solera, Oban 14-year-old and Lagavulin 16-year-old), guided by Alex, who actually used to work at the Coach and Horses (and seemed unable to resist the urge to get back behind the bar and help out later on). We were then treated to a splendid three-course meal, which included such Scottish-themed delights as cock-a-leekie soup, a herring and potato terrine, smoked salmon, duck served with haggis and little whisky jellies. A splendid time was had by all.
The whisky samples are arrayed while Members wait impatiently out in the garden
Members frown in concentration (that’s the Baron of Bermondsey in the foreground, sporting a kilt for the occasion); yours truly getting his snout into a cheeky malt; Alex, our guide for the evening
Dr Black Offers New Glimpse of Lawrence of Arabia
At our May meeting, art historian Dr Jonathon Black treated us to an illustrated lecture on the artist Eric Kennington and his friendship with T.E. Lawrence. We learned many useful things—such as the hazards of drawing Arabs, when one must avoid using just black and white, as these are the colours of Hell, and one must also shoulder the responsibility of supplying them with souls on Judgement Day—and were treated to slides of many artworks, including a drawing of Lawrence that the great man himself considered too revealing to allow it to be reproduced in his own book. And we were left with the great question of why Kennington depicted Lawrence on his tomb as dressed in Arab robes but with his feet crossed—in the style of a Crusader.
We were also graced with the presence of a number of new visitors, including Kacper and Avi who, had found out about the Club from Albion’s new Emporium, and Miss Sophie Jonas and Mr Ivor Fancie, of Burlesque Brunch fame. For more snaps see here.
Dr Black gives forth under the ghostly gaze of Lawrence
Scarheart turns on the charm to welcome new guests; Miss Jonas reveals some artworks of her own, tattoos which she apparently had done live on television
4th May 2008
Fourth Oxford Punt n’ Picnic Fest Goes Better Than Ever
Traditional has it that on the weekend nearest to St George’s Day, a posse forms in the fair city of Oxford to grapple with the river Cherwell armed only with a flat-bottomed boat (punted from the wrong end) and vast hampers of fine wine and rare foodstuffs. This year the tradition was upheld admirably, for last weekend a mob of some 25 souls did precisely that. Tradition also dictates that we are incomprehensibly spared foul weather—and, true to the pattern dictated by the gods of loucheness, the unending blast of rain and frigid temperatures was broken by a few days of glorious sunshine.
We gathered on the Friday evening for the traditional black tie dinner (though some whelps attempted to redesignate it as white tie), this time perpetrated on The Big Bang, a restaurant that serves nothing by sausages and mash; and I have to say that they were the finest sausages I have ever tasted. Should you ever find yourself in Oxford with a yen to sample some snorkers, this establishment will satisfy your needs better than any other.
Come Saturday morning, some of us scoured the market for comestibles, while others gathered in a tavern called The Turf for a sharpener. Then, at 12.30, we rendezvoused at the Magdalen Bridge boat house and poured ourselves into five punts. Some noble souls offered to pole us gently upstream while the cannier Members of the team simply lolled in the boats popping champagne corks and trailing our fingers in the water while keeping a weather eye open for piranhas.
After what seemed like a trice to us passengers (though probably less to those on pole duty) we found our traditional patch of bank and anchored. There followed an enormous al fresco banquet over several hours. There was no gigantic bottle of champage this year, but there was live oyster shucking (which resulted in my knife being left comically bent) and an opportunity for the traditional fźting of foreign Members who make it to these shores: Miss Anne Holmes and her chum Vega were showered with confetti and generally made a fuss of.
Eventually we realised we were in danger of failing to get the boats back before 8pm, so we vaulted back into them and sped off as fast as drunk people driving boats with sticks can manage. Tradition (there’s that word again) also dictates that at least one person tumbles into the drink—this year’s noble volunteer was the Earl of Waveney. Safely back on dry land we repaired once more to the Turf; to be honest things are a bit of a blur from here, though by the time you read this I should have uploaded the day’s daguerrotypes to the flickr account.
Dr Blah (right) and Prof. Raglan Slieve find their sea legs; Sir Oliver poles his bark past some rank amateurs
The visit of overseas Members Anne and Vega is marked by a shower of confetti
Rushen, of course, manages to plant a Manx flag, while Lord Rupert drinks heroically
3rd April 2008
The April Turn was none other that Matthew Howard, whose talk on The Manners And Customs of the Modern Egyptians (Revisited) was billed as the first “Lady Malvern Memorial Lecture”. (Lady Malvern was introduced in Jeeves and the Unbidden Guest—or Series 3, Episode 1 of the television series. She was noted for writing books such as India and the Indians after only the briefest of visits and hoped to write a companion volume on the United States after having spent less than a month therein, on the grounds that one of her friends wrote America From Within after a visit of less than a fortnight.) Mr Howard spent two weeks on the Sinai Peninsula last October, visiting Cairo for two days, and hence felt amply qualified to deliver an informed insight into his chosen subject.
The result raised both guffaws from the audience and the bar as far as creative picture research goes. It is impossible to reproduce here the effect of the lecture, but suffice it to say that the humorous self-effacement made sure that no racial stereotyping took place! At least, no one called the police.
An eclectic cultural tone was set: here Moorish lanterns rub shoulders with mini CrŹme Eggs and a rare hard copy of the NSC Newsletter; (right) Howard begins his talk with an illustration of himself
There was an embarrassment of fezes on display; and no shortage of Goths—this is Merrick from the Vampyre Connection.
31st March 2008
Burlesque Brunch Finds a New Home
The third Burlesque Brunch took place on Sunday 30th March and this time the blend of full English Breakfast, fashion show and burlesque performance took place in the upstairs room of the Railway Tavern, more or less opposite Liverpool Street station. Miss Vicky Butterfly, Miss Rose Thorne and the mysterious Darkteaser performed, while the fabulous Brunch Belles modelled the designs of our host Ms Sophie Jonas, who also revealed that she is with child. Congratulations to her and Mr Ivor Fancy!
Some of Ms Jonas’s elegant designs and one of her racier numbers too
Miss Vicky Butterfly treats us to a classic fan dance, while Torquil just gets stuck into the booze
And, course, there is a contest of the strange game of Orange Battle, which involves four spoons, two oranges and a long reach
7th March 2008
Debate Rages Over Secret of Perfect Martini
Mr Bridgman-Smith treated us to a riveting talk on the martini cocktail at the March Club Night—theories of its origins, famous fans and the mixological secrets of making a good one. Needless to say, this last aspect provoked various warring opinions from the floor and ideas were shared about technique, ingredients and how to stop vermouth oxidising. Given the nature of his talk, Mr Bridgman-Smith eschewed the magic lantern display provided with many of our lectures and instead mixed up cocktails as he talked. This enabled the assembled throng to decide for themselves, for example, if they really could tell the difference between a shaken martini and a stirred one. It was also good to see so many new faces at the meeting, faces that I hope we’ll be seeing more of in future.
(Left) Mr Bridgman-Smith rustles up a sharpener (he does not like olives in his martini, incidentally, preferring lemon zest); (right) willing guinea pigs consider the relative merits of shaken and stirred cocktails
For Artemis, however, the discovery of the evening was the “martini spike”, essentially a fancy metal syringe with precise volume markings so the mixologist can inject just the right amount of vermouth into his drink. Tragically the temptation was too much for Mr Scarheart’s fragile willpower—within an hour he had developed a crushing addiction to “mainlining” martini. I just hope this image will serve as a warning to other youngsters of the evils of not using a glass when getting drunk.
Club Worthies Mount Expedition in the Sahara
Members Major Gary Wallace in Scotland and Bernard Shapiro in New Zealand are between them organising a daring raid deep into enemy territory in North Africa. Admittedly this comes a good 60 years too late to be of much use to the war effort, but they are at least planning to do it as much as possible with vintage vehicles and equipment. The “Saharan Jaunt” celebrates the work of the Long Range Desert Group and will be raising money for certain (I believe army-related) charities. Full details are in this month’s newsletter or you can inspect the group’s website.
19th February 2008
Mrs H. Fascinates With Tales of Art-World Feuding
At the February Club Night the Turn was Mrs H. telling us all about famed dandy James McNeill Whistler and his bizarre relationship with one of his patrons, Frederick Leyland. Frankly, Leyland emerges as admirably level-headed and indulgent of the preening Whistler—and just as well, in a way, as the end result was what is widely regarded as a masterpiece of interior decoration, the famed Peacock Room.
Mrs H. gets stuck into her subject
In case you’re wondering, this is what the Peacock Room looks like
These two peacocks are said to represent Whistler and Leyland fighting
On the subject of peacocks, this phalanx of chaps in NSC Club Ties proved too good a photographic subject to miss
Second Burlesque Brunch Goes With a Twang
Miss Sophie Jonas’ second Sunday lunchtime sausages n’ stockings outing on 3rd February was a great success. Once more your ticket bought you a hearty brunch and three top notch burlesque performances—this time from Miss Ruby Rose, Miss Diva Hollywood and Miss Red Sarah. In addition, the famous Brunch Belles modelled Miss Jonas’ own fashion creations. This time, however, one of the Belles had to pull out at the last moment, so the lovely Fleur de Guerre (on the left in the picture above), who had come to carry the Bruncherette’s tray of goodies, ended up stepping in. And, in addition to the eccentric “Not Cricket” pub quiz, the strange game of Orange Battle took much bigger role in events than last time, with a whole tournament taking place involving almost everyone at the event.
For endless daguerrotypes of the event, see the Club’s Flickr page.
Sheridanites Save London From Atomic Destruction
Treasurer Artemis Scarheart treated a hand-picked group of Club Members to a terrifying roller coaster ride of cerebral challenge and emotional exhilaration on Saturday 2nd February. Yes, following the success of his piratical treasure hunt/pub crawl last year, he this time devised a new puzzle set in a post-war London and riven through with Cold War tension. Instead of competing teams there was one group of players, with the opposition being time itself…
The serpentine plot revolved around a missing suitcase of gold, spies, an atomic doomsday device and sprinkling of Nazi occultists. The team managed to get the final clues (hidden on items in the British Museum and National Portrait Gallery), although by the end of he day alcohol had taken its toll and their puzzle-solving neurons weren’t firing on quite as many cylinders as they had been earlier. A couple of Committee Members also made appearances in disguise—in fact my own transformation fooled even my own sister from a few feet away…
A hearty round of applause to Mr Scarheart for putting it all together!
The intrepid spies
Who are these mysterious strangers? Believe it or not, the fellow on the left is Club Chairman Torquil Arbuthnot and the sinister foreigner on the right is in reality me, Clayton Hartley, sporting a devastatingly convincing false beard (well, it became less convincing as the day went on and it started to fall off).
3rd January 2008
Baron Brings Fourth Tartan
At the first Club Night of 2008 the Baron of Bermondsey delivered an impassioned and thorough examination of the history of tartan and the kilt, from its earliest beginnings through to modern-day myths and conventions. Not only did he have various outfits on display but he was attired in tartan himself. In fact he even split his talk around an interval so that he could effect a costume change for the second half! I’m not sure where his obsession with the fabric comes from as he admits he is a Yorkshireman and not remotely Scots, but as he pointed out the whole idea of specific “clan tartans” was fairly late invention and there are plenty of designs that are widely accepted as wearable by anyone.
Chairman Torquil Arbuthnot makes his Club announcements in the unusual surroundings of a forest of plaid…
… Much to the amusement of Members.
The Baron kicks off in historical schmutter (and a Black Watch kilt)…
…Before finishing up in modern highland evening wear. (I think he said this was a Royal Gordon pattern.)
27th December 2007
Christmas Party Delights and Mystifies
“Murder, Mystery and Mince Pies at Sheridan Towers!”, the Club’s Christmas party, took place on Saturday 15th December and a fine time was had by all. The Barbershop Quartet amused us all with songs the lyrics of which has been altered to fit the murder theme of the party—Someone to Watch Over Me reinterpreted as being about a stalker, or Hoagy Carmichael's “Skylark, have you anything to say to me?” transformed to “Sherlock have you clues to give to me?” for example—newcomer Mr B. the Gentleman Rhymer was a splendid foot-stomping discovery, and evidently enjoyed himself and his new Membership enough to purchase a Club Tie too, while Niall Spooner-Harvey delighted us with pleasantly gritty and hard-boiled specially commissioned poem about Christmas (or specifically about the trouble he had writing such a poem). Meanwhile, there were competitions and prizes galore—it seemed hardly anyone went home without something, and special mention must go to Mr Palmer-Lewis who went home carrying a deck chair and Miss Minna (other half of Club Chairman Torquil Arbuthnot) who won the axe.
There was a tournament of Pin the Moustache on Poirot, a quiz to identify police mugshots of famous people, another quiz to work out which five murder’s faces went into a composite image and of course the main Murder Mystery that ran through the night.
If you’d like to see pictures of the evening as they come in, click here.
If you were unable to attend and you’d like to have a go at the Murder Mystery, click here.
Someone makes a pig’s ear of Poirot’s moustach; and one of the six giant Cluedo cards that were scattered round the room, featuring Club Members—this is Curé Michael Silver as Reverend Green. The others were Comtesse Besson as Miss Scarlet, Maud Peasgood-Nonsuch as Mrs White, Miss Minna as Mrs Peacock, Tristan Langlois as Colonel Mustard and Professor Pinkerton as Professor Plum.
Erik inspects the enormous haul of prizes.
13th December 2007
Mr Scotney-Le Cheyne Pimps Wife to Raise Expedition Funds
The good news is that Committee Member Mr Horatio Scotney-Le Cheyne has been chosen to head off into the wilds of Borneo as official photographer with a project organised by Raleigh International, an bunch of coves who take groups of impressionable youngsters and expose them to the character-building horrors of colonial exploration. The bad news is that Mr Scotney-Le Cheyne needs to raise £1,600 sharpish. He’s been down to the bookie’s and placed his life savings on a dead cert, but just in case that doesn’t work he’s hatched an ingenious plot to raise a few shekels. At the Murder, Mystery and Mince Pies at Sheridan Towers party on Saturday (see the Events page) he will set up a booth where, for a piffling Two Guineas, guests can steal a kiss under the mistletoe from a genuine Swedish femme fatale—who happens to be Mrs Scotney-Le Cheyne.
Mr Scotney-Le Cheyne shows admirable fortitude in the face of having to peddle his wife’s favours for cash. Mrs Scotney-Le Cheyne seems to be taking it well too.
10th December 2007
Mr Newlove Educates, Informs and Entertains
At the December Club Night Russell Newlove, who earns his crust as a sound engineer for the BBC World service, delivered a lecture on the history of said organisation, a tear-jerking tale of noble values and ever-dwindling budgets. He was aided by some apposite recordings, including the extraordinary message sent by Reith several times on the first day of broadcasting, apologising to listeners for the fact that many of the programmes were neither very interesting nor very good. A truly splendid Turn indeed.
Stockings and Sausages Defy the Sabbath
Sunday 2nd December saw the first of what should become a monthly event from February of next year—the Burlesque Brunch. Organised by Miss Tenacity Flux, herself a burlesque performer (though she was too busy to grace the stage on this occasion), the day began with a full English breakfast (or kedgeree or potato cake if you so chose), leading into a series of fashion shows featuring the clothes of Miss Sophie Jonas (who looks a lot like Miss Flux), modelled by the delightful Miss Cherrylicious and Miss Ella Emerald. On top of that there were three burlesque acts: first the spirited Li’l Miss Chievous, then Stella Plumes as Jugsy Malone, a gangster’s moll accused of murdering her man and who’ll use her charms to persuade the world of her innocence. Finally Miss Crimson Skye appeared as the Urban Fox—complete with fox tail pasties (see picture).
Our hosts also treated us to an unusual pub quiz; the tie for first place was broken by a bout of Orange Battle, a strange game where each contestant must hold an orange in a spoon while using another spoon to knock his or her opponent’s orange on to the floor. It caught on.
An absolutely splendid time was had by all. I’m told that the venue had to send out for more Champagne and brandy, which gives a good impression of just how heartily we quaffed. I thoroughly recommend that you scud along to the next one, which is the first Sunday in February. More photos here.
Misses Cherrylicious (left) and Emerald model a practical wolf-and-Red-Riding-Hood combo (a photo which was subsequently discovered online by what appears to be a group of fetishists who are into red clothes. I’m not joking); and Miss Crimson Skye as the Urban Fox.
After the shows were over, brunchers made their own entertainment and cut a rug.
There was even a whole Orange Battle championship. Who needs television, eh?
25th November 2007
Club Ties Finally Arrive
I am pleased to be able to report that the consignment of NSC Club ties has now been released by the police and has made it to my doorstep. If you have pre-ordered and paid for one of these handsome items then, if you live in this country, you should have received it already; Members living overseas may find it takes a little longer to arrive. I still have about 25 ties left, so if you’re a Member of the Club and fancy acquiring one, please get in touch. They are £15 each (plus another pound if you’d like me to mail it to you, or £2 if you live abroad). There is a photo of one of these ties in all its lush splendour on the Membership page.
16th November 2007
Burlesque Brunch to Offer Something for Gentlemen
Beyond the dancers themselves, of course, harrumph! (That’s Miss Stella Plumes in the picture. She’ll be there.) Yes I’m told that the day will offer retail opportunities aimed at the fop about town himself (rather than simply the chance to buy lingerie, corsetry and jewellery for the lady in his life, thus getting all his Christmas shopping done while simultaneously down pints and stuffing his face with pies). Ms Jonas will also be offering cravats, shirt studs, cufflinks and Victorian apothecary-style toiletries and shaving sets.
A reminder that full day tickets need to be booked in advance from here.
10th November 2007
Chairman Leaps Into Breech As Disease Ravages Club
This month’s Club Night turned into a nail-biting rollercoaster ride of sweat-soaked tension and ground-kissing relief. Mr Bridgman-Smith, who was scheduled to deliver his epoch-making address, The Martini—A Brief History with Some Fascinating Facts, a Martini Analogy and an Answer to That All-Important Question, To Stir Or To Shake? telephoned me in the afternoon to disclose that he was riddled with contagion and would not be able to attend after all. What to do? The noble Captain Coppice immediately volunteered to give an off-the-cuff talk on Champagne if we could secure projection facilities—alas by this time it was 5.20pm and the electrical requisites could not be sourced. Who should come to the rescue but our own Dear Leader, Mr Arbuthnot, who delivered a spiffing monologue about Julian MacLaren-Ross and, in particular, all the pubs he used to haunt along Rathbone Place, including the very one in which we were standing. Phew! (As it happens, Mrs H. also offered to give us a lecture about Whistler and the strange spat he had with his patron Leyland over the magnificent Peacock Room, but we decided that it really needed visuals. You’ll be able to hear, and see, that one next spring.)
In fact the evening was so electric that I completely forgot to take any photographs until almost everyone had left. So here is a picture of the Club mascot Scarheart (left) shaking hands with new Member Mr Stephen Smith.
Furbelows Plumb New Depths
Yes, I’m hijacking the site once more to say thank you to those Members who valiantly turned up to see The Furbelows, the beat combo in which both Miss Tabitha Maynard-Addersley and myself are inmates, perform on Thursday 8th November at London’s legendary Marquee Club. It was the first night of a new club called the Revolver Club, featuring an eclectic mix of comedy, cabaret and rock music, and I think I can say that a good time was had by all. The promoter afterwards said that they were hoping to do another one in December. Meanwhile our only other scheduled gig, on 23rd November has been bumped, though I’m not sure what the new date is yet. I’ll keep you posted.
You’ll notice from the daguerrotype that, although I removed my jacket (with the permission of the ladies, of course), I otherwise managed to maintain reasonably high sartorial standards—an area in which I feel the rock n’ roll demi monde is deeply in need of role models.
2nd November 2007
Burlesque Brunch Heats Up—Special Deal for Members
Following my announcement, below, of our plans to liaise with Miss Tenacity Flux on a day-long orgy of breakfast, bodices and beer, I can now give you a clearer picture. Have a look at the Events page for fuller details, but an all-day ticket will cost you £26 (and must be booked in advance). This buys you a hearty brunch—a menu will be sent to you when you book so you can inform them of your order in advance—as well as two fashion shows of lingerie, corsetry and jewellery, three burlesque performances and the aural attentions of disc jockey Pandora. There will also be drinks, cocktails and canapés available for purchase. Alternatively you can buy a half-day ticket, which skips the brunch and lets you into the burlesque maelstrom from 2.30pm.
As a special offer for NSC Members, if you quote your Membership number (on your Membership Card) when ordering you will get a free £5 cocktail voucher (also good for cake, I gather).
20th October 2007
Tragic Promotion Both Celebrates and Degrades the Moustache
Have a look at www.movember.com. On the one hand they are encouraging young men to grow moustaches, which can only be a Good Thing. They are even doing it raise money to combat prostate cancer, which is almost as important. But, sadly, they are so afraid that they might not appear “cool” they insist upon rebranding the moustache as a “mo” (hence the grating designation of November as “Movember”) and those who sport them as—wait for it—“mo bros”. I can assure you that, even before Mrs H. made me shave off my moustache, I was never a mo bro.
Club Tie Prototype Graces Committee Member’s Scrawny Neck
Yes, I’ve been sent a pre-production sample of the glorious NSC tie. I wore it yesterday and I can confirm that you can definitely tie it in a knot round your neck. It’s made of pure silk and is plump enough to be sumptuous, but not so plump that your tie knot is distastefully fat, like a footballer’s. I’ve put a photo of it up on the Membership page, so you can see the cunning NSC logo woven into the silk.
NSC Gets Into Bed With Burlesque Dancer
Several Committee Members held a meeting last week with Miss Tenacity Flux who, in addition to being a talented burlesque performer, is also the designer of dresses, corsetry, lingerie and other mysterious lady things, as well as being a keen chef. The plan is to co-promote a regular event on Sundays, beginning with a leisurely and hearty breakfast of high-quality foodstuffs, leading into a hazy afternoon of cabaret performance and saucy fashion shows. Stockings n’ Sausages. The morning after that’s better than the night before. That sort of thing. The proposed venue is the Punch Tavern on Fleet Street, which has a very handsome and quirky interior. Watch out for dates on the Events page…
13th October 2007
Poet’s Masterpiece Immortalised
Those of you who were lucky enough to be at the Last Gasper party last July (see the News Archive if your memory needs jogging) will recall that resident performance poet Niall Spooner-Harvey treated us all to a specially reworked version of his classic All My Cats Are Dead, entitled All My Smokes Are Dead. He recently made a recording of this ode and, the gods of technology willing, you should be able to hear it in MP3 format by clicking here. If you would like to mouth idiotically along to it, the words are reproduced here.
3rd October 2007
Year Two Begins in Saucy Style
As an apt celebration of the first birthday of the New Sheridan Club, “Chuckles” Younghusband treated us to a well researched and deftly presented talk on Sir Richard Burton, the sort of Chap that every male Member of this club secretly wishes he were. Adept at learning languages (he was fluent in 27 by the time he died) he also fought and explored for Blighty—taking a spear through the head in his stride—but made his fortune by translating the Kama Sutra. He also leaned a good trick for, ahem, “unlocking” a reluctant catamite (though there’s no suggestion he ever used it…).
Chuckles takes us through Sir Richard’s eventful mission to find the source of the Nile