The British Club of The Hague
The British Women's Club was founded in 1928 when thirty women decided to form a club for British women living in The Netherlands. Before the Second World War the British Women's Club was primarily a luncheon club, meeting at monthly luncheons held at venues such as Restaurant Royal and Hotel Twee Steden in The Hague. The library was started in 1939 in a room on the fourth floor of the Damesleesmuseum on Lange Voorhout, but this had to be closed when the German occupation began in May 1940. The committee decided to close the club for the duration of the war; in 1946 the club was revived by members of the original committee and soon had over 200 members.
From its inception the BWC raised money for good causes - the earliest beneficiaries were the two British Seamen's Missions in Rotterdam. Since then the club has raised money for more than 110 charities, both in The Netherlands and abroad, and continues to do so to this day.
In 1951 the library and regular luncheon venue was moved to the Park Hotel on the Molenstraat, where the club met until 1960. Lunches were also held in other restaurants including the Kurhaus, Hotel des Indes and Restaurant Royal. Club activities included: excursions; talks and demonstrations; courses; children's parties; teas; coffee mornings; charity sales; fashion shows; balls and other evening events; choir; bridge drives; play-readings; and (children's) sports activities. Some club activities have 'spread their wings' - such as the Cecilia International Choir, which started life in 1976 as the British Women's Club Choir.
The BWC had a number of different meeting places over the years; in 1960 the club rented one room for the library above the 'Arbeid Adelt' shop on Noordeinde 92. However, with a membership of 699 and a limit of 25 persons in the clubroom at any one time, a move was made in 1975 to a suite of rooms above the Bruna bookshop at Passage 61, the site of the present Novotel. The club then moved to four rooms on the top floor of Sociëteit de Witte, Plein 24, its home from 1986 to 2008.
In 2006 the British Women's Club became the British Club of The Hague and now admitted men as members. In 2008 the BCH decided to leave De Witte and, for the next three years, found a welcoming home with the American Women's Club in Scheveningen. But, in 2011, when the AWC decided to sell their clubhouse, the BCH moved to its present meeting place - the Pastoral Centre of the English Speaking International Roman Catholic Church in Bezuidenhout.
Our Dutch Launching Place: a History of the British (Women's) Club of the Hague from 1928, is available for €25 from the club.
Chairman Barbara Ullman
Vice-Chairman Margaret de Vos van Steenwijk
Secretary Debbie Collins
Treasurer Rosemary Bates
Membership Secretary Elisabeth Jordan
Activities Co-ordinator Margaret Banas
Friday Management Co-ordinator Janet O’Connell
Newsletter Editor Moira Holden
Visits and walks
The club organises regular visits to places of interest such as museums and exhibitions. Easy walks take place in The Hague and surrounding areas.
Please sign-up in the club or contact Margaret Banas at firstname.lastname@example.org
Talks are held at the Pastoral Centre on the first Friday of the month. Please see the calendar for details.
The Mahjong Group would love to welcome new members. You don't have to be experienced: we can start you off with the basics of this fascinating game. We meet 10:00 - 12:00 on Fridays.
Contact: Jacqueline van der Ham in the club on Fridays.
Topical Discussion Group
Come and join us and keep those little grey cells working. We meet on the second Friday of every month from 10:45 -12:00. See the calendar for details of subject.
Contact: Sally Slade at email@example.com or see her at the club on Fridays.
Readers Discussion Group
The Reading Group provides you with an opportunity once a month to talk through a book that has been selected as potentially rewarding and thought provoking. Members of the Reading Group look forward to a lively exchange of reactions to the 'Book of the Month'.
Contact: Rosemary at firstname.lastname@example.org or see her at the club on Fridays.
Caroline Crunden and Lindy Edney run the Monday bowling group at the indoor bowling alley in Scheveningen. If you are interested you need to let Caroline or Lindy know by the Wednesday before the bowling so they can book the lane(s) in advance. The cost is likely to be 5 euros, dependent on numbers.
Contact: Caroline or Lindy at email@example.com or see them at the club on Fridays.
As well as being able to see the recently released films at the cinema with friends, the Film Group also offers the opportunity to chat over a cup of coffee and sometimes over lunch. The Film Group is open to all.
This group organises visits to antiques markets and fine-art auctions and holds Antiques Roadshows at the club.
Contact: Teresa Weersma at firstname.lastname@example.org
Other activities include bridge lessons and concert club.