A SUFFRAGE CLUB.
("Votes for Women.") • Shortly we shall be celebrating the birthday of our Women's Club in South. Just a year ago, as our readers will recall the United Saffragists took a house at 92, Borough Road, Eoutbwark, painted and papered it as brightly as they could-, furnished it, with th 9 help of many kind friends, to look as unlike an institution, as possible, and threw it open, hopefully, to the women of South London at a membership fee of Id a month. Throughout the year we have had an average membership of eighty or so, and this number does not include the many friends who are brought in to enjoy the hospitality of the club for an afternoon or evening, but who do not become regular members, or numbers of others who join for -a time and then drop off. Of course, we made some mistakes at first. We thought, for instance, that the one thing needed by these tired and overworked members of the community would' be quiet. So we tactfully arranged a quiet room on the first floor, whero members could use the writing: tables to correspond with their friends at the front, and sit. in the comfortable armchairs by the fire and doze, or read the paper or an amusing book from the shelf on the wall. But our quiet room was a complete failure. What our members really like to do is to congregate in the ground floor room adjoining the
restaurant, set the gramophone going, and unclor cover of its cheery optimism discuss everything under the sun, from the war to the Lord Mayor's Show, and from Mrs Hampshire's new hat to Mrs Lloyd's new baby. And I don't blame them! In these dark days I know nothing that cheers me up quite so much as to join that group of mothers and daughters and sisters and wives, who meet at our club of an evening and manage to keep their spirits up in the face of rising food prices and continued anxiety about their menfolk who are away, and all kinds of daily worries and hardships. As for our quiet room, we have found a much better use for it in the meetings and concerts that are held up there every week. I think that was our only real mistake, and it was a fairly excusable one. The restaurant has been a definite success from the very first. We supply simple food at the following tariff (cost price): Cup of tea and two slices of bread and butter, or jam . . . £d Cup of coffee or cocoa and one slice of bread and butter, or jam }d Slice of cake, or one little cake . id The food, thanks to generous gifts from country friends and others, is of excellent quality, and is enormously appreciated in consequence. We find that this kind of substantial tea is what is preferred, both afternoon and evening, and have therefore given up another early idea of ours in connection with sandwiches and soup. We do not set out to be instructive in our club, the object of which is primarilv to be reoreative; bo 4:' found that certain ways of passing the evening were popular, we have arrived at the following weekly programme: Monday.—Afternoon: Mothers' working party, and children's creche. Evening: Dancing.. Tuesday.—Suffrage meeting. Wednesday.—Renearsal of play for younger members- Reading aloud to older members. Thursday.—Concert and entertainment. Friday.—Sewing and knitting taught by an> expert. Saturday.—Rehearsal of, play. The Monday afternoon programme is an innovation, and promises to be very successful. The idea is to keep the babies and children amused in one room (milk and sponge cake are supplied for id per head), while the mothers are helped over their sewing and are read to, in another room.