When I was a student nurse in the nineteen sixties, one of my friends had a rather exciting and seemingly well-heeled aunt - Aunt Jude. One day Aunt Jude took us to have a meal at her London club - my own background was not one in which private clubs featured, and I soaked up the experience with eager interest. I might not have easily recalled that visit, but last week I was honoured to be invited to speak at a lunch held in that same club - the New Cavendish Club - to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the foundation of the voluntary aid movement in the United Kingdom. The Club is immensely proud of its history, and has also recently hosted an exhibition of photos and artefacts associated with VADs and their work over the last hundred years. It's a very different age today from the one which gave birth to the Club in 1920, but I was still able to talk to women who wore their VAD badges with pride, and could look back to the Second World War and say 'I was there.' The history of the Club can be read here - a wonderful peep back into the past, and women's history, in the midst of twenty-first century London.
The History of the New Cavendish Club