History

Pre club

The definitive history of our premises is elusive and even parish records are inconclusive on the subject. The building is listed and the officially described as "Post Medieval 1600-1699 AD". Among its many unique features are a series of wood panels that have been attributed to Dutch craftsmen (albeit painted in the Florentine style) from either the late 16th or early 17th century.
The adjoining cottages are 19th century and the whole site is designated as being an integral part of the Town's conservation area. We are told that the main building has served various purposes over the years, originally a manor house (whose guests included Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson's beloved Lady Hamilton (which is why one of our rooms is named after her)) and at one time even a cockle-shed.

Formation of the Club

The Club was founded in 1969 when after a great deal of planning and hard work by a steering committee which formed in February of that year, it opened its doors in December.
The Chairman of the steering committee and the Chairman of the Club for the first ten years of its life was the late Gordon Cunnington who was also elected as President of the Club (a role traditionally held by the standing Conservative Member of Parliament for the constituency) in 2009, the Club's fortieth anniversary year.

Evolution

The premises which house the main bar, the committee room and the Churchill room were purchased in 1969. The main premises were renamed as "Cunnington House" in our Silver Jubilee year, as recognition of the outstanding contribution to the Club's formation and evolution made by Gordon Cunnington.

 
© Benfleet Conservative Club