Major Club Refurbishments of 2019 Part.2


The office under refurbishment
The staircase under refurbishment
The entrance under refurbishment
The hall and entrance to the kitchen
The hall under refurbishment
The office looking at the Green Room
Looking down the stairs under refurbishment
The stairwell under refurbishment
The office under refurbishment

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.

Live at The CAA!

Simon Bashford at the CAA

Simon Bashford Video Link
Described as one of the world’s greatest vibes players, Roan Kearsey-Lawson brought his acclaimed quartet to the club’s jazz night in June.
It was filmed and excerpts are available to view below.
Roan Kearsey-Lawson (vibes), Dorian Ford (Piano), Jerome Davis (Bass), Pete Cator (Drums)

Roan Kearsey Lawson, CAA Club London part one

Roan Kearsey Lawson part two – ‘The Ghost of the White Rabbit’

‘Watch What Happens’ – Sue Smith at the CAA with Java Jam

Strictly Acappella present – Bohemian Rhapsody

Jack Warner & The CAA

Jack Warner & The CAA...

Bust of Jack Warner OBE
A bust of Jack Warner O.B.E. greets visitors to the club.
Jack Warner is a past President of the club and much revered because he arranged for the mortgage for the club to buy the whole building in 1950.
This was a remarkable investment. In doing so he secured the future of the club for ever more.
1950 The Blue Lamp Movie
The Blue Lamp (1950)

Born in 1895, Jack Warner was, for some years, Great Britain’s most popular film star. He is closely associated with the role of PC George Dixon which he played in the 1950 film ‘The Blue Lamp’ and then in the TV series ‘Dixon of Dock Green’ which ran from 1955 to 1976.

His sisters, Elsie and Doris Waters, were also stars of variety. Born in Poplar, he first made his name in music hall and radio and became well-known to cinema audiences following the war with films such as ‘Here Come the Huggetts’.

“it was Dixon on TV that made him a true household name”

Jack Warner OBE as George Dixon
Jack Warner OBE as George Dixon

His film career stretched from 1943 to 1978. But it was Dixon on TV that made him a true household name along with his famous catch phrase ‘Evening All!’

He was an amazing 83 years of age when he finally ‘retired’ as a copper! Jack Warner is a vital part of CAA history and we really owe the ongoing success of the club to him.

In 1950 the lease ran out on the club but as Club President, Jack had the massive foresight to arrange a mortgage through his film mogul friend  J. Arthur Rank to buy the building for £20,000. A considerable sum then, but ensured the club’s future in what turned out to be a remarkable investment as rents from the offices now subsidise the club.

The building is valued today at some £7 million! Jack Warner died in 1981 and is buried at the East London Cemetery.

by Chris Hare