There are three categories of Membership of the New Sheridan Club, based, in true gentleman’s club tradition, on how far away you live from the Club’s epicentre, which is London, England. The Club Regulations go into far more tedious detail about the definitions, but broadly speaking they are:
This is for those who live more or less in London. It costs £17.50 a year.
This is for those types who reside in the sticks or in various overseas dependencies. It costs £12.50 a year.
This is for those unfortunates who have to live somewhere foreign. You only have to pay £7.50 a year. God knows, you need all the money you’ve got to spend on exotic drugs to numb the pain of being away from Blighty.
You can pay your subs by cheque, in cash or by BACS bank transfer, though the easiest way to cough up is by PayPal, to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can use this handy button:
If you don't want the bother of trying to remember to renew your subscription each year (or the humiliation of being horsewhipped in the street by the Club Secretary for letting it lapse), this even handier button will set up an automatic PayPal payment every twelve months (note that rates are a whole pound cheaper this way):
So what do you get in exchange for your cash? In the first instance you get an exciting Membership Pack:
● A handsome and pleasingly old-fashioned enamel lapel badge, bearing the Club’s logo. There’s a daguerrotype of one to the left.
● A Membership card proving you exist and are a Member.
● A fistful of NSC calling cards. These simply have the Club’s logo and web address. The idea is that you can hand them to inquisitive strangers who stop you in the street or on an omnibus (usually after closing time on a Friday night) to ask how it can be that you are so exquisitely attired and carry yourself with such élan and rakish hauteur. It happens, and the NSC calling card does the job of spreading the word without anything so risky as handing out personal details to drunken strangers.
● A copy of the Club Regulations. Fascinating reading.
Moreover, Members are also the lucky recipients of:
● A monthly e-newsletter detailing forthcoming events and other news and information of interest to Members.
● Free entry to NSC monthly meetings: These are traditionally on the first Wednesday evening of every month in a handsome wood-panelled upstairs room in a London pub. We drink booze, dress properly and chat animatedly, jabbing each other with our pipe stems for emphasis. In addition, each month there is some sort of Turn, usually a lecture on something nicely obscure, but sometimes it might a musical performance, or perhaps a demonstration of some arcane and largely useless skill. Members are encouraged to do a Turn (no pressure, though) and some are repeat offenders. The entertainment may sometimes come from a guest speaker or performer.
● Preferential access to other Club events: We run a vigorous a programme of parties, shindigs, bashes and beanfeasts, many of them at weekends, to make up for the fact that coves living outside Town might find it hard to make the Wednesday meetings. Our twice-yearly big parties are the talk of London (well, isolated pockets of London) and so far we have been able to keep entrance free for Members. We also arrange such things as film nights, picnics, pub quizzes, excursions and get-togethers with other organisations.
● The NSC Members’ Portrait Service: If you look on the Contact page you will see the Committee Members’ official club portraits. We make this service available to other Members too—you can see the results so far on the Portraits page. There is no fee for this, though if there’s a rush you may have to wait until the Committee can give you their full attention.
The idea is to find a suitable painting that somehow represents how you see yourself, or would like to be seen; then we photograph you in a similar pose and interpolate it into the original painting using Science. Ideally find a painting or photograph into which you would like your likeness to be syringed. As long as we can get hold of a reasonably high-resolution copy of the source image then we can do the rest. And if you can’t quite think of the right picture to start with, have a chat with the Committee and perhaps we can suggest something.
● Further merchandise: additional or replacement badges are available (to Members only) at a price of £3 each, though Members are requested to respect the fact that this is a badge of Membership and you may not hand them out to non-Members.
We now have cufflinks, tie slides and stick pins featuring the same enamelled discs. These are available to Members for £10 a pair, £6 and £4 respectively.
You may also purchase the magnificent bespoke NSC Club Tie. It is all silk, has equal broad stripes of black, red and silver, with a discrete “shadow weave” NSC logo repeating along the black stripe. They are a snip at £15 (plus an extra £1 for postage if you would like them mailed to you or £2 if you live somewhere desperately foreign). If you fancy any of the items mentioned here, please contact Mr Hartley, though remember that they are available to Members only.
We have recently also branched out into Club Scarves, fashioned from stout wool in three lengthwise stripes, black, red and silver. The ordering of these is handled by Club Member Charles Henry Wolfenbloode: they cost £36 each including UK delivery (£40 for an EU address, £43 for USA or Canada). Charles can also handmake mini-scarves for toddlers at a price of £8 including UK postage. Get in touch if this would interest you.
For Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee we decided to make our own commemorative mugs. As we are aware that not everyone in the Club is a royalist, our hand-drawn silk-screened mugs are playful rather than po-facedly monarchist, channelling both Eric Ravilious and perhaps Ronald Searle. (Right-click on the image below to see a larger image.) The mugs are free to all Members while stocks last, though if you would like us to mail it to you there will be a delivery cost (£3 within the UK, more overseas).
You can even purchase official, limited-edition New Sheridan Club rock (the confectionary, not just pieces of shale). We had this made up for our "Kiss Me Quick!" party, a celebration of the great British seaside holiday. In keeping with tradition it is peppermint flavoured and has "New Sheridan Club" written through it (see photograph below). The silver stripe is actually metallic. Only a hundred sticks were ever made but we still have some left. These are 8" long and a hefty 1 1/8" wide (20.5 by 3cm) and are available at £3 each plus a quid postage (£2 for overseas delivery). UPDATE: Sorry the sticks of rock are all gone now. But I'm going to leave the picture up because I was quite pleased with them…
● Discounts: here are some of the special offers available to Members:
A Suit That Fits Free measurement and style consultation
Huality Tailoring A 5% discount on all purchases
The Canton Tea Co A one-time 15% discount plus free postage and packing
Jing Tea A one-time 10% discount
One of our Members, Baron Solf, even offers a 10% discount at his restaurant, The Joiner's Arms, in Lazonby, near Penrith
Overseas Guests of Honour
Although the majority of our events take place in Britain, and indeed in and around London, we do have plenty of Members who live in other parts of the world. Although they may not make it to many, if any, events I imagine they are inspired by a sense of solidarity of being part of a global community of languid fops and consumptive aesthetes. Nevertheless it is the Committee’s intention that on occasions when foreign Members do manage to make it to Blighty, and London in particular, the Club will treat them as guests of honour, endeavouring to arrange entertainments for them, scattering them with garlands and composing epic poem cycles glorifying their exploits. This has so far happened a grand total of thrice; and a great success it was on each occasion. Sir James M. III, John Delikanakis and Misses Anne Holmes and Vega Andersen are still finding rose petals in their hair and the poems were serialised in the Mail on Sunday.
Although it isn’t a requirement of Membership, Members are encouraged to submit articles, reports and observations to the monthly newsletter. We may even produce a Best Of volume after a while.
As you can see, being a paid-up Member has all kinds of enticing benefits, but that doesn’t mean that we’ll chase you away with a stick if you haven’t actually joined. In fact non-Members are very welcome at the monthly Club Nights—your first visit is free and after that there’s a footling £2 charge each time.
The New Sheridan Club is not run for profit. The Committee are simply facilitators and the money taken in fees is to cover costs, such as room and equipment hire, stationery, server space, manufacturing the lapel badges and calling cards, putting on the parties, etc.
If you rather like the sound of all this, download an application form or just get in touch and we can give you any further information you require and tell you about forthcoming events so you can come and dip your toe in the water.