Prisons, Attractions & Public Buildings

Scarborough Conservative Club

Scarborough Constitutional Club
Source: http://archiseek.com/2010/1887-constitutional-club-buildings-scarborough-yorkshire/

The former Conservative Club of Scarborough & Whitby on Huntriss Row, Scarborough, closed it’s doors to members in 2012 after more than a century in operation. Memberships were down to an all time low from 1200 to 500 active. Coupled with financial difficulties and a depleting reserve, it was concluded that it was was no longer viable to remain open.

History

Scarborough’s Constitutional Club was purpose built in 1887 as an affiliated club to the Conservative Party. The law back then didn’t allow any premises to be called Conservative Clubs. The foundation stone was laid on Friday 20th January 1888 by Rt. Hon. Earl of Feversham. Then Prime Minister, Lord Salisbury officially opened The Scarborough Constitutional Club on 20th December, the same year.

The Tudor & Baroque style building was designed by architect Henry A Cheers after the architectural competition for designing the building attracted 90 entrants. Henry A Cheers specialized in public buildings and went on to also design grand buildings, from town halls in Hereford and East Ham to libraries at Hull and Teddington.

To begin with and up until the 1960’s the club was a gentlemen’s club and no women were allowed. A renaming of the building to Scarborough Conservative Club  and changing of the times saw women memberships being accepted for the first time. Although to begin with, women were confined to the first floor lounge.

The Building

Central entrance in Baroque style door case and hood, flanked by pillars, then retail outlets. It was asymmetrical in design with nine irregular bays over two floors and a caretakers apartment in the attic. The main entrance opened onto an axial corridor that extends to the billiard hall to the rear. To the left of the corridor were the main stairs, hall and club room. To the right, two more club rooms. One formerly a bar. The first floor included a large hall and five more club/office rooms. Above the door hood is a pair winged beasts. Both holding shields with the heraldic arms of Scarborough and the North riding of Yorkshire.

The building was granted Grade II listed status in January 2017.

 

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