With the news that the Archbishop of Canterbury is set to resign his membership of an exclusive gentlemen’s club in the wake of its decision not to admit female members, we look at the establishments that remain strictly male members only.
The Travellers Club
Established in 1819 for men who had travelled out of Britain “to a distance of at least 500 miles from London”. Justin Welby used it as a base when he was Bishop of Durham and Dean of Liverpool.
Founded in 1919, this club is best known for the Buck’s Fizz cocktail. Membership remains men only although women are allowed in as guests. Secretary Rupert Lendrum told the Financial Times last year: “Men enjoy each other’s company. They enjoy a drink at the bar, they enjoy a good lunch, they go off shooting together. Women have a different social interaction. They talk about different things. I’m not going to talk to [a man] about handbags or shoes.”
The Garrick Club
One of the oldest and most exclusive private members clubs in the world, the Garrick was formed in 1831. According to legend, it took Jeremy Paxman 11 years to get accepted as a member. Women are still waiting.
The Savile club
Women are allowed as guests, but not members to the Savile club in Mayfair. The club, established in 1868, has been featured in an episode of Jeeves and Wooster.
Described by the Daily Mail as Britain’s “most notorious male only club”, the only woman who has ever been on the premises is the Queen. It was founded in 1693 and old members include George IV, William IV, Edward VII. David Cameron was a member until 2008.
The Savage Club
Formed in 1857, ladies are invited for dinners several times a year but, as they put it, the Savage Club remains “one of the leading Bohemian Gentleman’s Clubs in London”.