Bournemouth's Oldest Private Member's Snooker Club
Formation of the Club in Bournemouth
Richmond Terrace was made up of three pairs of semi detached villas, built in the late 1830s, that lined this end of Richmond Hill. The right hand pair became Stewart's Hotel in 1860, renamed the Norfolk Hotel in 1910 and now known as the Norfolk Royale Hotel. The left hand pair were demolished in the late 1920s to make way for the present buildings that run down this lower end of Richmond Hill and along Bourne Avenue. The middle pair were reduced to a single villa when the left hand side was demolished around 1930. The remaining villa survives as the Constitutional Club. The Club is a Grade II Listed Building and is the oldest building on Richmond Hill.
The Club location moved in 1915
The original Constitutional Club was established as a Gentlemen's Club in London in1883, after which other clubs appeared in towns across the country. The Club was formed in Bournemouth in 1897 in Verulam Place off nearby Yelverton Rd and moved to occupy the current building on Richmond Hill around 1915. Although the Constitutional Club was initially closely aligned to the Conservative Party it no longer has any specific political affiliation and is more closely aligned to the values and fellowship ideals of the Rotary Club or the Round Table. In 1950 the building and land was purchased by the members and today all members continue to own shares in the club assets in proportion to their continuous years of membership of the club
Times change but the Club Ethos remains the same.
During the snooker boom of the 1970's, and 1980's the Bournemouth and District Constitutional Club was the go-to place for all the local businessmen in the town center, with congested lunchtimes and then evenings after businesses closed, before going home. These days the club is a much quieter place, where snooker can be enjoyed and friendly banter exchanged in a much more relaxed environment. The friendly ethos remains a basic feature of the club and no-one waits for long for a frame of snooker.