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Discrete CollectionsPolitics, economics and social science collections
TitleRomney Street Group
Extent7 boxes
Admin Biographical HistoryThe Romney Street Group is a small London-based luncheon club, with no political or religious alignment, which has met regularly since 1917 for the discussion of public affairs. It has maintained a membership of working and retired professionals with a range of backgrounds in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Its discussions are open to members and their guests, and are conducted according to so-called 'Chatham House rules' - that is, on the understanding that all contributions to the discussion remain confidential to the participants, except with express permission to the contrary. Women were first admitted as guests in 1926, and as members in 1959 or 1960. The Group was founded by Joseph Peter Thorp, then dramatic critic of Punch magazine. Its first Chairman was Thomas Jones, Deputy Secretary to Lloyd George's Cabinet. Its immediate purpose was to provide a forum in which to discuss, and a means by which to influence, the conduct of post-war public affairs. It met in a house in Romney Street, Westminster, for the first year of its existence only. Meetings have since taken place in many venues, mostly in London. At first, topics for discussion were taken up on an 'ad hoc' basis, depending upon the interests of members and guests present, and the immediate events of the day. Since the 1950s, however, a formal programme of speakers and topics for discussion has been drawn up and circulated in advance by the Group Secretary. Administration has been informal for most of the Group's history.
DescriptionRecords of the Romney Street Group, 1924-2017, including:
- AGM minutes, 1994-2011 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/15/7);
- Attendance registers of members and guests, 1924-2010 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/1 and ROMNEY STREET GROUP/15/2-5), which also contain press cuttings and other ephemera;
- General correspondence of the Group Secretary, 1935-1998 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/2), mainly relating to the arrangement of topics, speakers and venues for Group meetings, membership and finances, and including circulars, press cuttings and obituaries;
- Membership lists, [1940]-1991 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/3);
- Group meeting programmes, 1951-2000 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/4), giving details of topics, speakers and venues, as well as general news items;
- Material concerning members' suggestions for topics and speakers, 1973-[1994] (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/5), comprising completed annual survey forms and the secretary's analysis of these;
- Notes of the proceedings of Group meetings, 1972-2006 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/6), on subjects including politics, social and economic policy, industry, devolution, and technical education;
- Papers and offprints, 1974-1991 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/7), including transcripts of presentations to Group discussions;
- Material concerning the organisation of special group events, such as anniversary dinners, 1973-1993 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/8);
- Notes and correspondence relating to venues for Group discussions, 1973 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/9);
- Secretary's appointment book, 1988-1990 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/10), containing details of topics and speakers;
- Account books, 1968-1989 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/11);
- Treasurer's correspondence, 1968-1993 (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/12), including AGM reports, accounts, invoices and circulars;
- Material relating to the history of the group, 1984-2017, comprising correspondence, notes, circulars and press cuttings (ROMNEY STREET GROUP/13).
Access StatusOpen
Copyright TypeCopyright is held by the depositor
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