WHAT IS A WARD CLUB?

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Farringdon Ward Club Established 1894


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 :

  • Residents' association,
  • Platform for engagement with voters and parishioners, and
  • Social club for those who want to be involved.  

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.

We believe that in the twenty-first century, Farringdon Ward Club provides an excellent opportunity to learn more about the city and civic life, to meet the people making the decisions about how the City is run to get to know the Ward and other elected representatives and attend some excellent formal and informal social events in places not open to the public. There is no party-political element to a Ward Club. Indeed, for anyone interested in becoming more involved with City life, both Civic and Social, the ward clubs are the best possible introduction.

Farringdon Ward Club is similar to many other social groupings in that it has an elected committee, with a President as titular head, who changes annually. We hold an Annual General Meeting in April and regular committee meetings throughout the year. Our social events range from outings, to dinners to talks, an annual carol service and even a visit to the Panto! Details can be found under ‘forthcoming events’. The biggest event of the year is the Farringdon Ward Club civic lunch which is usually held in March.

As a Club we are renewing our original purpose by once again engaging with both resident and business voters, Livery Companies based in both Wards, the Guild Churches, and the business population.  We intend to foster wider engagement among City workers with the civic aspect of the Square Mile, and encourage participation in elections, communication with Common Council and participation in philanthropic activities such as City Giving Day.


For anyone who wants to get more involved with the City but doesn't fancy being a member of a Livery Company, Farringdon Ward Club is an excellent, inexpensive and simple way to get involved. Joining Farringdon Ward Club can also be a step on the road to becoming a Freeman of the City of London, joining the City Livery Club or a Livery Company and even becoming a member of Common Council (the City’s governing body).



Embankment City boundary

Farringdon Viaduct

Grand Avenue, Smithfield

St Bartholomew the Great

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