The Mirror in Alice through the looking glass

 I remember very clearly being told that the inspiration for This mirror was in the Guards Club in London.

Guards Club

In 1972, or slightly before, I was taken to lunch at the Cavalry and Guards Club, 127 Piccadilly. This was to encourage me to join. As a young Officer Cadet at Sandhurst I was fare game as a potential club member for hungry Gentlemen’s clubs in London. 

My father was more practical, having served with the King’s African Rifles he had chosen The Royal Overseas League as his London Club having various Overseas branches and reciprocal arrangements with many clubs around the world. However:

Pressure from the Adjutant of my regiment was so powerful that none of us dared to do anything other than join his choice. The Guards Club, 16 Charles Street. All due respect to the Adjutant, it was a magical place and I am very glad to have been a member. An anti-room contained the looking glass featured in “Alice through the looking glass”, we were very progressive we had Lady members, oh horror! ?, this was 1972!  I considered myself very progressive, my school was the first to have voluntary attendance to chapel! ?

The Guards club in 16 Charles Street was a magic place. The bar was so full of “tobacco” smoke you could hardly see Geoffrey, the iconic Bar Man. He knew all the members and their drinking preferences. He was an expert on the weather, and every other subject under the sun. When we were all given our marching orders and had to join the Cavalry Club he came too and for another 30 odd years.  An expert on everything. He was indeed a very well informed, very well balanced and intelligent conversationalist. His retirement party is legendary.

All institutions have their staff to thank for their success and the Guards Club was no exception. 

The building too was a delight, unspoiled and original, I doubt it had been decorated since it was built in the late 17 hundreds! ?, older than the USA, seasoned with smoke, blackened with wicked carbon deposits, but not a cobweb to be found!

I am sad to look up The Guards Club and find no mention of its existence at 16 Charles Street.

Source: Dorset Sculpture

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