Chairman’s Christmas Message 2019

Dear Members,

OMG! At last we are OPEN!!! Hooray!!!

Kay Carman

There are one or two things to tidy up and I imagine it will be into 2020 before we have all the photos up in the Bar area and the important pictures up around the place, plus the Honours Board in the Hall. We are trying to have our wonderful Jack Warner settled somewhere special in the Club. Eventually we will be fully completed! I will let you know when we have the final Hand Over from the Building firm!

I thank you for your donations / contributions that we are receiving. We do need them as our coffers are quite depleted, but we do have a great new club which will take us into a new era! I am writing to you to thank you personally. We will be having Fundraising events in 2020, so keep an eye on the website and the club Notice board.

Unfortunately we have two empty office suites at the present time due to two firms folding. We used one space as our temporary office for nearly 5 months and our Managing Agents are looking for new tenants. The Christmas Season is now upon us. Many of you will be very busy in Pantos, Christmas shows, Cabarets  etc. either on Stage or behind the scenes. On land or on the high seas! Or just enjoying the holiday season. Wherever you are, myself and the Committee send you good wishes..

The two Opening Night parties were a huge success. Thanks must go to our President Anita Dobson who spoke to everyone on the 22nd and her lovely husband Brian May popped in to see us as well! Our two Christmas parties were sold out immediately too. Sorry for you members who missed out on both events! There are a few seats left for our Burns Night on January 24th. We have a great Jazz night on February 28th featuring Dominic Ashworth and his quartet. Dominic has been nominated UK No1 Jazz Guitarist and is a truly world class musician.

Our main function is our Sparkling CAA. Ball on 22nd March 5pm at the Royal Garden Hotel Kensington. Fantastic bands and Cabaret. Tickets £70 members £75 guests. See the booking forms please.

I hope you like the new club. The Committee and myself do! Haha! I am very proud to have “spearheaded” the project. It has been 7 months of hard work but in a masochistic way I have enjoyed it! Haha!! I have learned a huge amount about building works etc.!! I thank the Committee and Dep. Chairman Jonathon Brosnan, for supporting me, but I must thank three of them in particular who have always been there when I needed them. Ron Wallace, Chris Hare and then, especially in the last three months, Judith Quiney.  I thank Malcolm our Secretary who has been up with the larks many mornings since we took back the premises about two months ago! He is ready for a rest now too!!

All the staff are pulling together now to get everything back in order and I thank them.

I hope you all have a great time over the holiday season! I am off to spend Christmas with my family in South Africa!

My love to you all and thank you for your support! ……………………..

Kay Carman.

Major Club Refurbishments 2019 Part.7

Image of Kay on site
Kay on site

LATEST REFURBISHMENT PICTURES…

Here are the latest set of pictures taken at the club during the ongoing works.

These photos were taken upon a site visit on October 24th 2019.

Enlarged bar refurbishment
View from bar to stairs and lift
View from bar to stairs and lift
View across enlarged bar to double width entrance
View across enlarged bar to double width entrance
Reduced sized office image
Reduced sized office to accommodate double width bar entrance
Lift exit image
Lift exit
New double width bar entrance image
New double width bar entrance. Small chair lift to be added to left hand stairs
Bar refurb in progress image
Bar refurb in progress
Bar refurb from entrance image
Bar refurb from entrance
Lift shaft image
Lift shaft having reflective facia being added

Chairman’s Newsletter October 2019

Dear Members,

Image of Kay on site
Kay on site

I hope you enjoyed your summer! As you know, the club closed for refurbishment at the end of May and should have re-opened at the beginning of September. But things changed and instead of just a refurb, we are actually getting a new club!

As you will see from the photos recording the ongoing work published on this web site the club has more or less been ‘gutted.’   We will have a completely new Kitchen; a new, extended Bar; a smaller Office to accommodate a wider entrance to the Bar and lift exit; a lift from the foyer to Office level and a small stair lift for the last few steps to the Bar. In the Concert Hall we shall have a new extended stage area and new Audio Visual, lighting and sound systems. Other lovely changes include new flooring and panelling. The whole club has been re-wired and other issues such as water intakes rationalised. All our supporting beams have been checked and steel supports especially designed to fit the lift into our small space. The builders have gone back to the original brickwork to ensure we will have a sturdy club that will last another 70 years.

We do have excellent builders, electricians, engineers and consultants working for us and they are paying great attention to detail. The works really are complex! The cost has escalated but, in the scheme of things and percentage wise to what the building is worth, it represents great value. We have also added considerable value to the building. All costs have been carefully monitored and we expect the final expenditure on this project to be near £670,000.

When dear Jack Warner first found our building and Rank was our guarantor for the Mortgage, our members contributed monies and eventually the mortgage was repaid, so that we now own the freehold of the building. Well, dear members, it seems history is repeating itself. As I said at the AGM last March, we need the members to contribute to replenish our reserves to take this unique Club into the future! If our 1,000 members donated £100 each… WOW! Obviously we realise and appreciate that many of our members aren’t in that financial position but ANY contribution, however small, will be gratefully received. We are thrilled that some members have already contributed and we have thanked them.

The Committee suggested that some members may wish to club together to buy individual items e.g. a Chandelier, Stage Curtains, Lighting equipment, the small chair lift, Bar Furniture. Even some wonderfully generous member – The lift! Miracles do happen!! For any more information just contact myself or Malcolm or just send your contribution to the Club.

The Lift has now been installed and is currently being fitted out and tested. It is a small platform lift which will carry one or, at most, 2 people. The maximum weight is 250 kilos (38 stone in old money.) BUT YOU MUST KEEP YOUR FINGER ON THE BUTTON to ascend and descend. It is intended mainly for members who have difficulty in climbing stairs and our more able bodied members should leave it available for them. It will take you up to the office/green room level and then there will be a small Stannah Stair Lift to take you up to the bar. It will not be used to carry barrels up to the bar area. Hooray! It’s all very exciting.

The builders have said that they should be finished by the end of October. The Bar will be the final area to be completed. Initially we will be using the old bar furniture until we have had time to see the finished area and measure up properly. When the Club is handed back we have to bring everything out of two large storage units back to the Club. Please check back to the web site to get the actual first day we re-open.

I must thank all of our regular 40/50 members who have supported the Monday night concerts at the Water Rats Pub during the closure. Great nights full of fun and laughter, giving the opportunity to keep members personally updated on the building progress. We expect our first MONDAY NIGHT at our new Club will be 11th November, then every Monday as usual. Our Grand Opening Night with Dinner, Archive DVD, Music/Cabaret, along with our Architects and Builders will be 22nd November. Should demand be such, we will add extra opening evenings.

I want to especially thanks, Ron Wallace, Chris Hare and Jonathon Brosnon who have attended as many of the regular site meetings with me as they could and Judith Quiney who sorted out the IT and phone links during the closure along with advice on the consultant’s colour schemes and fitments. Indeed, I thank ALL the Committee for their constant support and help. A vote of thanks also to Malcolm and Val, who were uprooted to the fourth floor.

The Committee and myself thank you for all your support and patience. A new era for the CAA dawns!

Thank You

KAY CARMAN

Major Club Refurbishments 2019 Part.6

LATEST REFURBISHMENT PICTURES…

Here are the latest set of pictures taken at the club during the ongoing works.

These photos were taken upon a site visit on October 10th 2019.

Image of Kay on site
Kay on site
Hall renovation
New wall panels in hall
Exit from lift at top of stairs
Enlarged bar being refurbished
New double width entrance to bar
View of entrance hall from office
Green room (temporary site office)
Reduced size office

Major Club Refurbishments 2019 Part.5

Image of Kay on site
Kay on site

LATEST REFURBISHMENT PICTURES…

Here are the latest set of pictures taken at the club during the ongoing works.

These photos were taken upon a site visit during mid September 2019.

The green room renovation image
The green room renovation
Reduced size office renovation image
Reduced size office renovation
Exit from lift to double width upper foyer image
Exit from lift to double width upper foyer
Top of suspended lift and exit to bar
Top of suspended lift and exit to bar
Lift shaft in situ pre cladding image
Lift shaft in situ pre cladding
Re wiring the entrance image
Re wiring the entrance
Lift platform image
Lift platform
New ceiling above stage image
New ceiling above stage
New stage area image
New stage area
Kitchen refurbishment image
Kitchen refurbishment

Major Club Refurbishments of 2019 Part.3

MORE PICTURES OF THE REFURB…

These were taken in early August. The structural demolition, rewiring and routing of services such as water intake, removal or renovation and preparation of the walls and brickwork is intricate and forms the basis for all the following redecoration. The lift is being manufactured off site then installed.

Looking towards bar. Ladder is where new widened foyer will be
Looking towards bar. Ladder is where new widened foyer will be
Kitchen cleared ready for new installation
Kitchen cleared ready for new installation
Entrance hall under construction
Entrance hall under construction
The Hall
The Hall
Roof void by office in preparation for lift installation
Roof void by office in preparation for lift installation
Staircase in preparation for lift installation
Staircase in preparation for lift installation
New double width foyer leading up to bar
New double width foyer leading up to bar

Chairman’s Newsletter August 2019

Kay Carman

Hello dear Members,

I hope you are enjoying the summer!

As you know the club is closed now for refurbishment and should have been open again at the beginning of September.

But actually things have changed & instead of just a refurb we are actually going to have a new Club!!!

As you will see from the photos on the Website, the club has more or less been ‘gutted ‘. Please bear in mind these were taken in mid-June and things have moved on dramatically. We are having a complete new Kitchen; a new extended Bar; a smaller office to accommodate a wider entrance to the bar and lift exit; a lift from the foyer up to the office level and a small stair lift up to the Bar. In the Concert Hall we will have a new extended stage area and brand new AV and lighting, all of this together with other interesting changes including new floor and panelling. The whole club has been rewired and other issues such as water intakes rationalised.

We have excellent builders/electricians & consultants etc working for us and they are paying great attention to detail. The works really are complex! The builders have gone back to the brickwork to give us a new sturdy club that will last at least another 50 years. All our supporting beams have been checked and steel supports designed especially for the lift.

Yes the cost has escalated but, in the scheme of things and percentage wise to what our building is worth plus the value we will add to the building, it is worth it. All costs have been closely monitored and are within our overall target and contingency budgets.

When dear Jack Warner first found our building & Rank was our guarantor for the Mortgage, all the members contributed monies & eventually they paid off the Mortgage so that we own the freehold of the club!

Dear members, it seems history is repeating itself. As I said at our AGM in March this year we need the members to contribute to take this club into the future! As I said if our 1000 members donated £100 each wow! Obviously many cannot afford that which is absolutely understandable, but any donation however small will be gratefully received by us to help the future of our club.

It has been suggested that some club together & buy individual items. So I have asked the Architects to send us a list of prices of things that we can look at. We will put it on the website and also in the post with your individual Newsletters. It is an exciting time! We will be having ‘fundraisers’ for a few years to build up our coffers again! Some millionaire might donate the lift or the sound system! Any good suggestions are very welcome. The whole Committee are thinking about ways to raise money.

This is just an interim Newsletter to let you know how we are progressing. I will let you know how we progress in a couple of weeks again when we know the FINAL COST!!!!

Look out for your Newsletter in the post. Malcolm& Val will be addressing the envelopes as I write!!!

Love & thanks to you all for your support & patience at this momentous time in our Club’s History. 

KAY CARMAN (Chairman)

Major Club Refurbishments of 2019 Part.2

PICTURES OF THE CLUB’S ONGOING REFURBISHMENT TAKEN 18TH JUNE 2019

The office under refurbishment
THE OFFICE
The staircase under refurbishment
THE STAIRCASE
The entrance under refurbishment
THE ENTRANCE
The hall and entrance to the kitchen
THE HALL AND ENTRANCE TO THE KITCHEN
The hall under refurbishment
THE HALL
The office looking at the Green Room
THE OFFICE LOOKING AT THE GREEN ROOM
Looking down the stairs under refurbishment
LOOKING DOWN THE STAIRS
The stairwell under refurbishment
THE STAIRWELL
The office under refurbishment
THE OFFICE

Extract from the Chairman’s August 2019 Newsletter: 

The club has more or less been ‘gutted ‘. Please bear in mind these were taken in mid-June and things have moved on dramatically. We are having a complete new Kitchen; a new extended Bar; a smaller office to accommodate a wider entrance to the bar and lift exit; a lift from the foyer up to the office level and a small stair lift up to the Bar. In the Concert Hall we will have a new extended stage area and brand new AV and lighting, all of this together with other interesting changes including new floor and panelling. The whole club has been rewired and other issues such as water intakes rationalised.

We have excellent builders/electricians & consultants etc working for us and they are paying great attention to detail. The works really are complex! The builders have gone back to the brickwork to give us a new sturdy club that will last at least another 50 years.

Kay Carman 

Major Club Refurbishments of 2019 Part.1

Following close of business on Thursday 30th May the Club will undergo a much needed and imaginative make over.

Electrical re-wiring became a necessity and so this opportunity is being grasped to make major improvements at the same time.

The Hall will have new panelling, floor, stage, stage lighting and sound systems. There will be a small platform lift from the entrance hall to the first landing where the entrance to the bar will be widened and it is intended to add a chair lift for the final steps into the bar.

We have to address the damp in the entrance hall but will preserve the iconic posters photographically to reproduce them as wallpaper. The Bar will be enlarged and the club’s decor greatly enhanced throughout.

proposed new entrance design

We aim to protect the atmosphere and friendly nostalgic feel of the past whilst making the club more comfortable and accessible for all. Gently bringing us into the 21st Century but paying homage to our lovely history.

After thorough research interviews and presentations from various firms we, the committee appointed architects Bradley Van Der Straeten to oversee the works along with our excellent cost consultant, electrical and building consultants. The design is by much respected architect George Bradley who has shown great empathy with the club. We later found out that his father is the esteemed actor David Bradley!

Sarah Cosby from the firm has been liaising with us every step of the way. The final decisions on costings will be made by the Chairman and full committee on 30th May and the contracts will be signed. From that day forwards due to Health and Safety reasons, the builders GMS, are in charge on the premises.

Proposed stairway and bar entrance

From time to time, Kay, Ron and Chris will be invited in, if needed, for consultation. The builders will photograph the various stages of work and the Committee will update you via this web site and a Newsletter. Here are some initial concept designs for you to peruse – It is an exciting time for our club. It is for our future!!

We are moving Malcolm and Val out to a new office venue during the work. We will inform you of the address asap.

The club closes to members at close of business on 30th May and the CAA at 20 Bedford Street will be closed for business from 31st May.

Monday evenings will continue during the closure at the function room of the Water Rats Pub, Grays Inn Road. From 5.30pm onwards from 3rd June.