Bath Club

The Bath Club was a sports-themed London gentlemen's club in the 20th century. It was established in 1894 at 34 Dover Street. Its swimming pool was a noted feature, and it is thought that the swimming pool of the fictional Drones Club (also on Dover Street) was based on this. It was one of the few gentleman's clubs that admitted women. [1] Sir Henry "Chips" Channon was a member. Mark Twain stayed here when he visited London.[2] Guglielmo Marconi stayed here as well when he visited London.[3]

In 1924 a sporting member of the Club, Gerald Robarts, travelled to the United States and unexpectedly won the American Squash Racquets Singles Championship.[4][5]

The club building was hit by bombs during the Blitz in 1941, and the club never wholly recovered. After the bombing, it was housed by the struggling Conservative Club at 74 St James's Street, which eventually agreed to a full merger in 1950 under the name of the Bath Club, retaining the Conservative Club's St James's Street club house until 1959. It subsequently moved to 43 Brook Street, and it finally closed in 1981.

See also

  • List of London's gentlemen's clubs


  1. Alexander-Sinclair, Ian (report) (2007). "Bertie Wooster's Mayfair". Norman Murphy's talk at Wodehouse Week 2007 (The PGW Society UK). Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2009-01-03. Norman [Murphy] explained that Dover Street was the street of new clubs in the 1920s and 30s. So here Wodehouse found the ideal site for the fictional Drones Club, originally based on the real Bachelors' Club, but subsequently the source of the Drones was transferred to Buck's Club, founded in 1919 by Herbert Buckmaster in nearby Clifford Street. Buck's had by then replaced the Bachelors' as the young man's club. But the Drones Club's swimming pool, complete with its notorious ropes and rings, was taken from the Bath Club, also in Dover Street, at Number 34, amongst whose founders was one of Wodehouse's many uncles. Tuppy Glossop's mean trick on Bertie of looping back the last ring "causing me to plunge into the swimming b. in the full soup and fish" (i.e., full evening dress) was based on fact – it happened all the time in the Bath Club pool.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-06-26. Retrieved 2007-07-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Raboy, Marc. 2016. Marconi: The Man Who Networked the World. Oxford University Press. p. 195.
  4. The Chicago Daily News Almanac and Yearbook (Chicago Daily News Company, 1924), p. 632
  5. Frank Grant Menke, The Encyclopedia of Sports (1963), p. 839

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