Records of the Ellan Vannin Club

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The deposit consists of committee and Annual General Meeting minutes, draft minutes, notice of meetings, lists of names attending the meetings, rules and regulations books and a certificate of incorporation. Members book, lists of monthly, continuing monthly and weekly members, list of persons holding shares in the Ellan Vannin Club and records of subscriptions paid are present. Other material includes a list of names of Honorary Members from HM forces, business/calling cards and defaulters books of members who have failed or refused to pay their subscription. Visitors' books, suggestions book, club notices, forms for social events, cash books, ledgers, financial journal, copy letter book, correspondence and list of new members' are deposited. Further material present relates to the licensing of premises on the Island, a press release, annual dinner menus, a compliments slip, a description of a painting in the club by Alexander Blaikley (1816-1903) and photographs relating to the club and/or members.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Ellan Vannin Club was a private members-only gentlemen’s club situated in Douglas, Isle of Man. The club was founded in 1892 by Dr John Alfred Dearden (c.1850-1912) who proposed the first meeting (15 November 1892) be held in the Tynwald Lodge Rooms Masonic Hall. At the inaugural meeting it was agreed by those present that the club be started in what was formerly the Athol Lodge Rooms, Masonic Hall (by the twentieth century the club had moved to 20 Finch Road, Douglas). Dr Dearden was appointed chairman by the proposal of Dr Frederick W. Friend; it was seconded by Dr Thomas A. Woods (c.1851-1925). Deemster Charles Thomas Cheslyn Callow (1852-1933), a Member of the House of Keys (MHK) was appointed secretary and George Henry Wood (1835-1925) was appointed treasurer. Sir Alured Dumbell (1835-1900), first Deemster and Clerk of the Rolls was the first president of the Ellan Vannin Club, holding the position from 1892 until 1900.

Initially the club was called the ‘Phynnodderee Club’; according to Manx folklore a Phynnodderee is a helpful being of the brownie type. A suggestion to rename it to ‘The Marine Club’ proved unsuccessful and by December 1892 it had been re-christened to the ‘Ellan Vannin Club’. The objective of the club was to provide professional and businessmen with facilities that encouraged the continuance and improvement of social, business and cultural relations on the Isle of Man. The club also promoted (either alone or in conjunction with any other organization) social, business and cultural activities for members and their properly invited guests. The club had four classifications of members. Town members held permanent residence and lived within five miles of Douglas town; country members were permanent residents who exceeded the five mile radius; and monthly and weekly members were persons who did not permanently reside on the Island but were eligible for membership via specific criteria. All membership was subject to an entrance fee and thereafter a regular subscription fee. Members were allowed to invite guests but the invitation was subject to strict rules and regulations. The Ellan Vannin Club was managed by a committee consisting of the president, the secretary, the treasurer, an auditor, two trustees and five elected members. To qualify for membership the individual had to be proposed by a current member and seconded by another. Each proposal was submitted to the committee, if accepted the success of the membership was determined through a ballot (monthly and weekly members were not subject to a ballot) conducted by the current Ellan Vannin members. By the twenty-first century membership numbers had decreased, culminating in the closure of the club in 2005.

Conditions Governing Access

No regulations or restrictions are implemented on this material.

Advance notification of a research visit is advisable by emailing library@mnh.gov.im

Other Finding Aids

Printed box list available.

Archivist's Note

The biographical information was gathered MS 10518's deposit file.

Fonds-level description created by Eleanor Williams (MNH Project Archivist), December 2015.