posted on Oct, 30 2002 @ 11:47 PM
"social" in the widest sense -say from teh London Gentleman's Club at one end to a Labour club in a mining town.
i.e. "club" in some sense a gathering with membership, rules etc.
"social" in the sense that its activities are, at least formally, restricted to a certain sphere.
Rituals and regalia necessarily vary: Oddfellows, Lions, Water Buffaloes, Masons.
The UK situation arose from the very odd and eccentric (in a uniquely British way) licensing laws -most of whch have only very recently been
Our "pubs" are just that -"public" houses which menat that anyone wishing to be selective about entry needed, usually, some other sort of
Hours of drinking were very, very odd and again, only a private establishment could get around these laws.
There were very strict rules concerning what, if any, gambling was allowed - believe it or not, by a curious anomaly, the relatively unknown (but
rather good) game of cribbage was the only card-game permitted for money.
Later the same rules applied to Fruit machines (slots) and other gaming machines -pubs could only offer very small pay-outs. (still the case)
Strict pricing laws applied in every pub.
So, anyone wanting somewhere where a drink of any sort from a dry sherry to ten pints of Guinness could be sold and people gather without having to
follow these rules had to be a member of some sort of "club". There's absolutely nothing to be inferred from the name as such.
The fate of half the world was decided from London's elite gentlemen's clubs in the 19th Century -they are still magnificent relics.
So - "social club" as such means nothing in terms of who, and when, and where, and why. A centre for dark forces or the local fishermen -all the