36 Victoria Avenue
In February 1885 The Club’s Committee decided to build a new Club House.
A site in Victoria Avenue was chosen in the rapidly developing area of the Victoria Park Estate, and a company formed to finance the undertaking. The capital of £3,000 was collected from six hundred £5 shares, taken up by members of The Club.
In 1885, plans by H.E. & A. Bown were adopted, and the Harrogate Herald for 29th May 1885 announced that tenders were being sought for “excavations and drains needed for the new Harrogate Club in Victoria Avenue”. The completed building was furnished at a cost of £620, raised as a loan from members, and formally opened on 25th March 1886. An afternoon tea-party was held to which ladies were invited, and in the evening, a celebration dinner was held in the nearby Queen Hotel.
In 1888, following complaints about the quality of The Club’s whisky, at least three meetings were held to judge satisfactory replacements!
Internally, The Club has some fine woodwork and painted glass in High Victorian style. Perhaps the most striking external features of the Bowns’ new building were the two great curved bay windows facing Victoria Avenue, and the quality of the masonry. These features were typical of the Bown brothers, who loved curves and arches, and whose other Harrogate work includes villas on the West End Park estate (the Oval), Queen’s Road, Lancaster Road, Beech Grove, Otley Road, the former Station Hotel between James and Albert Streets, Princes’s Square, and the Queen Victoria monument. The Club is perhaps their masterpiece.
by Malcolm Neesam 2011.