Monday, 24 October 2011

Eccentric Autumn 2011

The Godfather of the Eccentric Club turns 85

On 20th of October Edward John Barrington Douglas-Scott-Montagu, 3rd Baron Montagu of Beaulieu, the last President of the Eccentric Club in Ryder Street and the 'Godfather' of the revived club, celebrates his 85th birthday.

Lord Montagu has always lived an eventful life and continues to be the driving force and the tireless guardian of the National Motor Museum, which he founded in 1952 on his estate in Beaulieu, Hampshire.

He is equally well known and loved for being a founder chairman of English Heritage and the Historic Houses Association, for his active participation for more than fifty years in our political life as a much respected member of the House of Lords, and inadvertently becoming a hero and an inspiration for millions of the gay people worldwide after 'the Montagu case', which eventually led to decriminalisation of the gay relationships in Britain.

Coming to his 85th birthday, Lord Montagu still amazes those who meet him with his sound judgement, sense of humour and the same youthful spirit he became loved for by so many over the years.

He became first involved with the Eccentric Club in the 1980s after making a speech at a club dinner. He was then the President of the Club till its closure for renovation and personally stopped in 1984 the backwards-going clock in The Owl's Roost, the Eccentric club members' bar…

In 2008, meeting with the Secretary of the revived club, Lord Montagu said that he likes and supports our endeavours, that it is 'lovely' what we are doing and that he shares our views on the definition of 'eccentricity' and the importance of celebrating it.

But what became a truly most bountiful gift to us - was the donation of his personal archive of documents related to the old Eccentric Club to the revived club's Committee. In such a way a symbolic continuity between the two clubs was established.

The Eccentric Club Committee and the club members wish Lord Montagu a very happy birthday, good health and many more happy returns. We all feel honoured and privileged by our acquaintance and association with his Lordship, a truly amazing and a most inspiring gentleman.

(Photo: Allan Warren)

Our very own Indiana Jones, or

Viscount Woodstock's Mojo Quest

Lord Woodstock, who has recently joined the Eccentric Club and brought us some fresh views on the charity fundraising, is presently conquering the South East Asia in a variety of the most eccentric ways, being on what he describes a 'Mojo Quest'!

Lord Woodstock has left Heathrow on 15th of September (having forgotten his debit card at home!) for Delhi, since then he has been leading a very exciting and often dangerous 'Indiana Jones' lifestyle, travelling through India and Nepal.

Among other things, he has been introduced to the stupa, did his first kora, met some most amazing people from all corners of the world, learned how to hop over the landslides and to avoid the herds of goats stampeding down the mountains, climbed twice the height of the Empire State Building, went for a week of rafting and had his first class degree in philosophy challenged by the crude primeval philosophy of the local nature.

He plans to continue his adventures through many more countries, finishing his journey in Tasmania and getting back to the old Blighty by Christmas!

Lord Woodstock carries along a good word about the Eccentric Club, promoting our traditions and ideals to those who have little or no knowledge of them, for which we are extremely grateful. We are looking forward to celebrating his return to England in style!

To follow his adventures - click here to go to his regularly updated blog.

Good bye, the Arts Club!

The Arts Club in Dover Street, our welcoming home since May 2009, has re-opened after the major renovation.

It is buzzing with the new members and new events, but along with the new owners, investors and directors came the new policies and the new rules of its operation: to bring back the united spirit of the club the new owners decided to discontinue the 'closed' private parties and events, thus making it impossible for our members to convene there.

The Eccentric Club Secretary had numerous talks with many other clubs in London and received a surprisingly high degree of support from quite a few. We do have now certain arrangements in place for our events and meetings and shall continue working on getting further benefits for our members across the clubland.

We urge our reciprocal members to bear with us for the time-being - we shall always be delighted to welcome you in London, we have the agreements allowing us to arrange for our reciprocals great lunches and dinners as well as an overnight stay (providing you let us know of your arrival at least a few days in advance).

And so, as the Eccentric Club moves on, getting more friends and stronger ties with many more clubs than before, we thank the Arts Club for all their generosity and the splendid times we had there and say: 'Good-bye, dear friends! Good-bye, the Arts Club!'