Princess Royal Attends Grand Re-Opening

HRH the Princess Royal has officially re-opened the Farmers Club following the successful completion of the Project CREST refurbishment. 

A wonderful selection of images from the Grand Re-Opening Ceremony and Reception can be found in the Library section of the Farmers Club website.

 

Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal officially re-opened the Farmers Club on Thursday 2nd February, following the successful completion of the Project CREST refurbishment, writes Farmers Club Journal Editor Charles Abel.

During a sparkling evening The Princess Royal warmly congratulated the Club upon what it had achieved. “It is so important for farming, and farmers, to have somewhere to come in central London, in such an excellent position, and to be looking after it and making very good use of it. I do hope you enjoy it.”

Having toured the newly completed Lounge, Restaurant, Terrace, Bar and Shaw Room, the Princess Royal spent a considerable period of time meeting all of the 100 members who had gathered in the wonderful, large new function space of the Farmers Suite, before unveiling a commemorative plaque.

In formally welcoming Her Royal Highness, Club chairman Tim Bennett paid warm tribute to all those involved in creating the splendid new facilities, especially the General Committee, which quickly gave the project the go-ahead, and the builders and architects who addressed numerous issues, including securing the necessary permissions for the changes.

He had special praise for the vision, planning and tenacity of former Club Secretary and Chief Executive Stephen Skinner, who was present on the evening. Stephen managed the project together with General Manager Virginia Masser. Since the completion of the project Club Secretary and Chief Executive Andrei Spence, Virginia and the club team have done a great job of getting the Club working again and maximising the new and extended facilities that the project has provided.

“And the staff have been tremendous, keeping it all going and looking after members whilst all the works were going on and the rooms were being changed around,” Mr Bennett added. 

“We now have a Club to be really proud of, and it still remains a friendly, family Club, that is our ethos and we’re not going to lose it as we equip ourselves to serve members into the 21st Century.”

There was widespread praise for the fresh, light feel of the Club and the creation of new function spaces where offices had once been. A common comment was just how impressed members were with the very significant changes that had been implemented since they last visited. 

Peter Treloar, his wife Annette and brother-in-law Martin Fitzgerald had undertaken a somewhat longer journey to Whitehall Court than most. Having been successful in the ballot for places, they were delighted to travel all the way from Port Lincoln in South Australia. “It was such a pleasure to meet The Princess Royal. The Club looks fantastic and the Royal family still means such a lot to us in Australia,” commented Mr Treloar, a Nuffield Scholar and MP for Flinders who farms 1000ha of combinable crops and Merino sheep.

The architect Graham Cox, the builder’s BB Contracts and Fulcrum Kitchen all worked on the project. For Helen Hughes the interior designer the evening was the culmination of a fascinating project, combining the needs of a modern London club with the homely, family atmosphere members have so long enjoyed.  

With the largest single renovation in the Club’s history now complete members were able to enjoy the new facilities, excellent service and the superb Bowl Food that highlighted some of the new dishes on The Restaurant seasonal menu.

A wonderful selection of images from the Grand Re-Opening Ceremony and Reception can be found in the Library section of the Farmers Club website.