Various Types of Clubs and How They Originated

By: Rex Inego | Sep 24, 2011 05:37 AM

An association of two or more individuals for a common goal creates clubs. Clubs came into being almost in all states from the time we remember. It is only natural for people to long to get associated with like-minded people, outside family and relationships. Naturally, people with common interests got together to spend time and share interests, resulting in the formation of clubs. 

Clubs are of different types, namely service club, voluntary or charitable clubs, clubs to develop hobbies and promote sports, clubs for social activities, political clubs, religious clubs and many more. Ancient Greek clubs and clubs in ancient Ruji are proof that the idea of clubs is old as ancient civilization.  

How Did The Word Club Originate? 

Though it is a bit confusing as to how and when the word ‘club’ first came to be used, the usage is found to have existed long back. Even if it meant a cluster of people clubbed to meet expenditure of their private meetings or just informal meetings of friends to share some fun time with drinks, the purpose was to get-together. Thomas Occleve as well as John Aubrey mentions clubs as meeting of good company or an association in tavern. 

The Bread Street club or Friday Street Club during the Shakespearian times boast of having eminent members like John Selden, John Fletcher, John Donne, Francis Beaumont and even Sir Walter Raleigh and Shakespeare. The club was established by Ben Jonson had its meetings at Devil Tavern situated in London. 

Coffee Houses and Clubs - The Connection

During the 17th century, coffee-drinking and coffee houses became a culture of the English society. Soon they became centres for different associations to hold meetings and share time with members. In the 17th century and the beginning of 18th century clubs were strictly used for hospitality and literary coteries. However, these clubs soon became centres for debate and tools for spreading republican views. The Rota Coffee Club of 1659, the Restoration club of 1660, the Green Ribbon Club of 1675 and the Calves Head Club of 1683 are examples of politically inclined clubs. The members of these clubs shared no money bonds or no permanent clubs as their meeting places. These places soon turned places of political gossip-mongering; King Charles II issued a ban on coffee houses in 1675. However, it was withdrawn soon as the proclamation was very unpopular. 

The Development of Clubs

Clubs developed in two ways. One type was set up as permanent body and the other existed for specific purposes. The fixed set up had permanent clubhouse and they aimed to increase the club members by absorbing the entire place of the coffeehouse. This soon became their club house, though they retained the innkeeper’s name. These types of clubs are still regarded as honourable gentlemen's clubs. 

During the middle of 19th century these clubs developed to residential clubs with all facilities like bedrooms. Even members of Parliament and eminent government officers along with Military and naval personnel, judges and lawyers made the clubs their favourite spots for rest and recreation. This arrangement worked well with them as there were no decent accommodations to be had in those times. The affordability and the decent company they received from these permanent clubs made them make a bee-line for the permanent clubs. 

The second type of clubs designed for periodical meetings and for specific reasons had no clubhouse of their own. The many sports clubs, literary clubs, publishing clubs, musical clubs and art clubs belonged to these types of clubs. These clubs needed no registration in Friendly Societies Act.

How Clubs Were Viewed Throughout The World? 

Gentleman’s clubs spread through English society like fire. United States saw the rise of its first clubs after the Independence War. Hoboken Turtle Club of (1797) was the first club here and is still there. India and Pakistan which were the British colonies, called clubs by name Gymkhana. In the earlier stages clubs belonging to European continent were purely of political temperament. The clubs that sprang up in Berlin and Vienna followed path. In France, in times of the French Revolution, clubs became centres with political intentions. 

Benefits of Buying Clubs

Buying clubs enable members to buy rare and expensive goods for reasonable price. The Seikatsu club and the food conspiracy are clubs which let members purchase organic food, which is rare to get. Buying clubs are encouraged by Price Foundation in order to widen the market and share their food items. 

Country Club and Sports Club for Sporting Members

Country clubs provide many sports facilities to members. They also provide social activities and amenities for members. They are usually situated in rural areas. These clubs have amenities like Swimming pools, golf, tennis courts, exercise facilities, polo grounds and many more. Moreover, they offer dining facilities and conduct catered occasions. 

Country clubs in cities are called athletic clubs. They have all the amenities in country clubs, featured indoors. Sports amateurs and professionals along with well-paid team members and numerous supporters crowd here. It is a merge of participants and spectator fans. Sports club are not gyms or health clubs. 

Hobby Clubs and Personal Clubs

Hobbies are aimed at personal fulfilment than financial gain. The many science fiction clubs, Model Railroading, creative pursuits, tinkering, ham radio, collecting, artistic pursuits, and adult education are conducted by hobby clubs. Personal Clubs are very much like Hobby Clubs. They are run by close friends or family members who like to engage in things they like to do in a collective way. 

The More Serious Professional Clubs

The partly social and professional clubs offer professionals the chance for their betterment. Here they get the opportunity for further education, conducting researches, gaining business contacts etc. The different medical associations, bar associations, scientific associations etc are examples of professional clubs. 

School Clubs, Service Clubs and Social Activities Clubs

School clubs offer students to get beyond the usual school activities and participate in meetings and qualified mentoring. A service club is a voluntary association for members to conduct social outings and do charitable works. Social activities clubs are of a mixed nature. These clubs usually entertain single persons rather than married couples. Some clubs are set exclusively for lesbians and gays. 

Social Clubs and Gentlemen's Clubs

Some social clubs conduct games like bridge and chess while some others concentrate on building membership of particular social classes. In the 1940s, 50s and 60s social clubs were synonyms of infamous gangs. Clubs with elite members are known as Gentlemen's clubs. The modern gentlemen's clubs are mostly owned by persons or private syndicates.