WHAT IS A WARD CLUB?
The Ward Clubs of the City of London are one of the many unique institutions which are found nowhere other than within the square mile. However, they are unknown by many within their area and are best described to someone who is unfamiliar with them as being a combination of :
There are 25 Wards in the City and 22 Ward Clubs as, for the most part, there is a single club dedicated to a certain ward. Six wards have ‘joint’ ward clubs with the Farringdon Wards of Within and Without being two of the six wards with a single club. Ward Clubs vary in age and size and each has a different reason why and when they were created.
Several Ward Clubs origins were as early residents or rate-payers associations, formed to keep down the rates in their respective ward. Candlewick Ward Club claims to being the oldest Club, having been formed in 1670 and reconstituted in 1739. By contrast, Tower Ward Club was formed in 1971. However, most Clubs were formed in the mid to late 19th century.
The Farringdon Ward Club was established in 1894 and combines the wards of Farringdon Within (the wall) and Farringdon Without. The membership of the club drawn from all walks of life and, unlike a Livery Company, there's no occupational bias.The City of London Livery Companies are the occupational trade associations that grew out of the medieval guilds. Today the Livery Companies are principally philanthropic organisations although some still have a regulatory role.
Although the origins of a Ward Club lie in a neighbourhood association, as those who worked in the City became commuters rather than residents, the Ward Clubs needed to evolve to survive and so became a means of maintaining contact. This led to the Ward Clubs encouraging membership from not only those who resided in the ward but those who commuted to work there as well as the parishioners of those City churches in the ward.
Ward Clubs are membership organisations, and each has its own fees and admission process. The Farringdon Ward Club is open to and encourages participation from all resident voters, business voters (the City being the only place where businesses have a vote, the number of votes being dependent on the business’ size), Freemen of the City, Liverymen, elected members of Common Council and others with links to either ward or the City in general. It is not a requirement live or work in either ward to join the Farringdon Ward Club.
Our joining fees are set out on the ‘Join Us’ page of the website.