Chaiman’s Newsletter and Information Update December 2020…
We are nearly at the end of 2020 – Hooray!
Because of the latest Government restrictions the club is now in Tier Four and has had to close for the foreseeable future. Sadly, our proposed Christmas Lunches had to be cancelled. Rest assured we will re-open as soon as we are allowed and it is deemed safe to do so. Please keep checking in to the web site for updates. At last there is’ light at the end of the tunnel’ with a vaccine on the horizon.
I have tried to contact as many of you as I could on behalf of myself and the Committee, together with Barbara Daniels on behalf of the Benevolent Fund Trustees. We want to make sure you know we are here for you if you need us! Call if you need anything and you think we can help! I thank the Committee for their support in these trying times. We are coping with everything being thrown at us but the CAA will survive. We send our condolences to the loved ones of our members who have sadly passed away this year and also to our Members who have lost loved ones and friends this year. We are listing Members who have passed away during the crisis on the site – click on Final Curtain.
Those of you missing the wonderful CAA Ball, be assured that we have reserved dates for next year in February and March and will keep you informed as Government rules change. However, if you would like a refund of your payment for the postponed March 2020 date, please write to me at the club with your details. Otherwise your money is safe with us, ready for when we can hold the Ball in 2021.
It has been wonderful to see so many of you back at the Club during September and October. You say that we have been a lifeline for you to enjoy the company and camaraderie of your friends once again!
Regarding Membership subscriptions for 2021, the forms will be with you before Christmas and we are offering a reduction. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and so the Committee felt that we should help members at this difficult time and offer a reduced annual Subscription of 50% for those who need it. This will only apply for 2021. If you are in a position to be able to pay the full subscription as usual, then this financial contribution will greatly help the Club at this difficult time. Subscriptions for 2021 MUST be paid by 28th February 2021 which is also the deadline for the reduced payment. You can pay straight into a special account we have set up for subscriptions.
So, keep smiling! You are not alone – just pick up the phone for a chat with another member.
Please have as enjoyable Christmas as possible and a Very Happy and Healthy New Year – or should I say New Tier! Hoping for happy days to come!
Ho Ho Ho
Much Love from Kay, your Chairman and the Committee
The Committee has agreed to open the Club on Thursday, 3rd September, for a trial period throughout September to see if it is financially viable for us to open.
Initially the Bar will be open from 12 noon to 5pm Monday to Friday. Last orders will be 4.30 pm. Only Credit/Debit Cards will be taken for Bar payments. No cash will be taken by the Bar staff.
We may stay open slightly later once we are into a regular routine. We all have to be flexible.
A limited Menu of various sandwiches, prawn cocktail, salad, chips and Afternoon Cream Tea with tea or coffee, will be available from our new caterer, Peter Cliffe read more here.
Please support him when you come to the Club and order something to eat with your drinks. We hope to have a pianist playing softly downstairs in the Hall some afternoons.
The Club is being thoroughly deep cleaned in accordance with rules because of the Corona virus. Signs re social distancing and health rules will be displayed alongside hand sanitizers, etc. A one way system around the Club will be signposted.
Please bring your own masks & gloves etc. for your own protection. You do come into the Club at your own risk. Members of the Committee will be setting out tables & chairs in the Bar and Concert Hall.
Because of social distancing, seating space will be restricted. Therefore, whichever day or days you wish to come in you must phone up to reserve a seat please. Otherwise you may be disappointed if you just turn up and we are full.
Phone either: 0207 836 3172 or 0207 254 6074
Please leave your name and number. This may seem complicated but we have to adhere to Government guidelines!
Sadly, we have lost quite a few longstanding members during lockdown, from various illnesses not just the virus. Once we are back to normal we will have a Tribute afternoon/evening memorial to them. We send loving thoughts & support to their loved ones.
Over lockdown our Benevolent & Samaritan funds have been helping our members who have applied for assistance, all confidentially. These two funds are the raison d’être of our Club! Please phone either of the two numbers above for any information about assistance.
It has been and still is an awfully worrying time. Try to keep smiling & try to stay positive! I know it is hard but if you need to talk just ring myself or another Committee member.
We are here to help & support you however we can! If you have a problem or a question about the Club, just call!
All my good wishes to you all,
Chairman on behalf of the Committee
NEWS FROM THE CHAIRMAN KAY CARMAN – JULY 2020
The committee had a ‘virtual’ meeting on Thursday 9th July to discuss the reopening of the club.
It was decided to have a ‘deep clean’ throughout and the air conditioning fully serviced. Judith is arranging PPE, hand sanitising dispensers, perspex screens etc to enable us to create a safe environment.
Two or three Committee members will come in during August to sort out social distancing seating and tables in the Bar and Concert Hall areas using the small red cabaret tables. Malcolm will help sort out the bar regarding stock etc. Our new caterer Peter will also be on board.
Our aim is to reopen slowly but surely in early September. This all depends of course on Government directives and monitoring the overall situation. So we have to be flexible and cannot open fully for a while. We will gauge our member’s response and take it from there.
We want to be ready to respond to the ever changing situation and be fully prepared as much as we can be to open in early September, at least for a drink and some food and to be able to meet up safely with our friends again. Exact timings will be known at a later date – thank you for your wonderful patience and understanding.
Unfortunately we have inevitably lost some of our members during the lockdown. We will celebrate all their lives when we are back at the club. Our most recent passing is stalwart ‘C’ Member Tony Davey.
Tony contributed so much to our club! He, with his lovely wife Betty came to every function and brought their friends as well. He was (quite literally) a giant among men. Tony and Betty graciously gave us use of their house and grounds for our 100th Birthday Garden Party on 6th July 1997 – our Centenary Year! We can never thank them enough for that! RIP Tony; all our love and thanks to you along with our love and support to Betty and the family. We are here for you.
‘A’ Members remember that the Benevolent Fund is there to help you in these difficult financial times, so please contact Barbara Daniels for information. Any other members can apply for help from the Samaritan Fund – please contact myself or Malcolm for information.
These are strange, awful times but dear members please try to keep smiling and please stay safe! You have the member’s book so contact any of us if you wish to talk.
Love from Kay x
The AGM in March 2019 was well attended, the main topic being the club refurbishment. At the end of a long discussion, Bryan Naylor said that we must spend ‘whatever it takes.’ So, thank you Bryan for that because we practically have a brand new club now.
We spent more than our original budget but we did so in full knowledge of the implications and we had a Cost Consultant on hand all the time! We are still very healthy financially and we did not have to borrow any money as all expenditure was within our means.
It is a new era for the club now and we move forward positively. I am very proud and honoured to have ‘spear headed’ the project. It was a long seven months dealing with all the aspects involved and I have certainly learned a huge amount!
I thank the committee for their support and Deputy Chairman Jonathan Brosnan for his full support during the year. But in particular, Ron Wallace who over the years has sorted out the maintenance of our club and saved us a lot of money. This year he kept an eye on the builder’s progress!
Also Chris Hare, who has been a huge support and always been POSITIVE with me about the work. They both came to as many fortnightly site meetings as they could.
Judith Quiney has worked tirelessly for the Club. Packing all the boxes and everything ready for the storage units in May and reorganising BT accounts, so that we could continue in a temporary office on the fifth floor from July.
Judith also was a great help with ordering new furniture, fixture and fittings and then, when we came back in the refurbished building in November, helping unpacking boxes and sorting out the new IT issues in the office and card machines and picking up snagging issues. She has been invaluable, giving so much of her time to the Club.
Grateful thanks to Malcolm our Secretary, who handles the Office and Val, his assistant, who have coped with the office upheavals since we moved back in. Malcolm has had to come in very early some mornings for workmen and deliveries. They hardly ever have a sick day off!
Thanks to Liam, our hard working stage manager and the guys who set out the chairs. Malcolm, our doorman, has had a knee operation and expects to be back in March. Also our bar staff, who cope with every eventuality with a smile.
As we settle into our new club, there are still a couple of snagging issues such as extra stage curtains and photos back on the wall. Sally and her team have continued to supply popular meals but the committee, as part of good practice in a new era, have put the brand new kitchen up for tender. Sadly, Sally has decided to leave.
We have had a good response from individuals and firms to take over the franchise. Interviews have already been conducted. Unfortunately, the 4th floor office firm went into liquidation and the 3rd floor firm have been having financial difficulties, but we have recouped most of the money they owe us. It is ongoing.
So, we are looking for new tenants. We thank the Trustees of our Benevolent Fund who work quietly and confidentially helping our ‘A’ members. If anyone knows of members in need please contact them. Also the Samaritan Fund is there to help other members. Please contact the Committee.
Our social functions continue to sell out! Our hall capacity is slightly reduced due to an extended stage area and our sound and lighting desk now being situated at the rear of the hall.
The Committee has decided to TRY OUT opening every SATURDAY EVENING from April from 5pm until last orders at 11.15pm. Sadly, we have lost quite a few members this year but, since January, we have brought in new members who have been on the waiting list for quite a while.
I have really enjoyed this year as your Chairman and I thank you for your wonderful support and your patience during all of the closure. We have a great new Club! Onwards and Upwards! My love to you all.
OMG! At last we are OPEN!!! Hooray!!!
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! ……………………..
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!
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)
The AGM in March 2018 was well attended and we had some lively discussions. This present committee have been wonderful this year and I want to thank them ALL for their continued help and support. All our office suites are solidly occupied.
One of the rents is up for review in September. We have had an ‘interesting‘ year with the Adventure Bar, when suddenly their outside décor became frighteningly ‘floral’ without seeking our permission! But after a long period, during which I decided to involve our magnificent solicitors, it is all sorted out along with a large increase in rent. I thank the committee for supporting me in this.
Our Social Functions continue to be a huge success and often sell out quickly. We are always open to new ideas so if you have any please send a letter to us, email or contact us through the web site. Sally and her catering team led by Syed always provide excellent meals at the functions. Carlos and Syed cater for lunchtime customers.
We thank our bar staff Candice and Chris. Saturday evening opening seems to be picking up so we will be continuing it until our refurbishment closure. Thanks to Liam our stage manager who often works above and beyond the call of duty. Also to the furniture moving heroes on Mondays and at functions. And to others who help with tickets and filling envelopes when required.
Grateful thanks to Malcolm who mans the office and Val his assistant. They come to work ‘through hell and high water’ and almost never have a day off sick! Real showbiz troupers. Thank you.
Thanks must go to the Benevolent Fund Trustees who work quietly and confidentially on your behalf. If any ‘A’ members are in need please contact them and if any other members need help, please contact myself or a Committee member because we have the Samaritan Fund which helps and also provides taxis for our less able members.
Finally, an exciting time is approaching! This Committee wants to future proof our wonderful club for the young and not so young for many years to come. So, because of the need for complete rewiring, we will be doing a major refurbishment as well, including the installation of a small platform lift. It will be a lengthy and costly undertaking, but our finances are in excellent order and we have a budget. So please embrace this period of our club.
We have an excellent firm of Architects and they have good consultants and builders. We are on board with every decision and nothing will be done without our agreement. The Committee and I have put a lot of time and effort into this project because we love the club so much. I am very proud and honoured to have been your Chairman again. We need to protect this unique club well into the future. My love and thanks to you all for your support.