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The County Club History

The original County Club building, built by Joseph Pickstone in 1800, was probably intended as a gentleman's residence, as domestic properties were a feature of the High Street until the early twentieth century. The County Club was formed in 1882 and began with 120 members in January which had risen to 150 by the end of the year.

Charles Dodgson's nephew was a member (recorded 1905) which influences the number of Lewis Carrol references around the Club. Records from 1946 report that there were 130 gentlemen members, 106 lady members and 44 wives of members who made use of the Club.

In 1947, an average day saw 16 morning coffees, 20 lunches and 10 afternoon teas served. When gin measures were reduced by the government during continued rationing, the Club Manager was invited to resign when he took it upon himself to give even shorter measures.

Elizabeth McPheat came to work at the Club in 1949. Her daughter, April, is Housekeeper today and has worked at the Club for more than twenty five years.

The Club lost its back garden to compulsory purchase for a town car park in the 1950s.

Over the years, the Club's finances fluctuated which resulted in several proposals to turn the entrance into a shop to complement the rental income received from the High Street shops. In 1999, the Chairman of the day introduced measures to make the Club more progressive by expanding the membership, with younger members and a higher profile for women.

At the turn of the century a new atmosphere informed The County Club with professionals working in Guildford replacing the elderly military membership of bygone eras. An abiding tradition remains, however, in the form of the members' affection for golf in the form of its long-established annual golf day.

Today the Club continues the function for which it was founded: a social club where professionals of all shades and political opinion can meet.

The Club also takes an active role in community life in Guildford and Surrey, works with businesses and the Council, and raises money for many good causes.




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