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Polytechnic Rambling Club

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 1753 PRA
Held at: University of Westminster
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Full title: Polytechnic Rambling Club
Date(s): 1886-1960
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 2 boxes
Name of creator(s): Polytechnic Ramblers
Polytechnic Rambling Club
Detailed catalogue: Click here to view repository detailed catalogue


Administrative/Biographical history:

Regent Street Polytechnic, founded by Quintin Hogg as the Youth's Christian Institute, encompassed members who were not students, but were involved in recreational activities via a large number of clubs. The Polytechnic Ramblers' club was founded by W K Davies and Percy Randall, who claimed they had the idea in 1885. The first reference to the club is found in 1886. It grew out of the Christian Workers Union, whose minute book mentions in March 1886 a proposal for Saturday afternoon rambles 'to promote healthy exercise and social intercourse among those who did not participate in the more athletic games on Saturday afternoons', and includes a few further references to its activities, among them a record of the first ramble in April 1886. The club claims to be the second-oldest walking club in the country. With Saturday rambles in the summer, and visits in winter, ladies were soon invited, and the club became popular. There was subsequently a separate ladies' club. The club was involved in the founding of the Federation of Rambling Clubs in 1905, which later became the Ramblers' Association. When Regent Street Polytechnic became the Polytechnic of Central London in 1970, relations with the sports and social clubs - which had been an integral part of Quintin Hogg's vision for the Polytechnic - were redefined as part of the new constitutional arrangements. They became legally separate, though some links remained. Further changes were made following the Education Reform Act of 1988. The club is now essentially independent, but retains a link as a member of the Institute of Polytechnic Sports and Social Clubs, founded in 1989. The club was variously known as the Polytechnic Ramblers and the Polytechnic Rambling Club, although no definite date for a change of name is known. It has a website at:


Scope and content/abstract:

Records of the Polytechnic Ramblers and Polytechnic Rambling Club, 1886-1960, including photographs, 1889-1950s, some undated, among them an album, 1896-1905, and a photograph showing members in the Lord Mayor's Parade, 1938; papers gathered by members for an exhibition on the 75th anniversary, 1960; and a glass commemorating the 75th anniversary [1960].

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

Arranged according to Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

Open, subject to signing the Regulations for Access form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies may be supplied, for research use only, unless copyright restrictions apply or the item is too fragile to be copied. Requests to publish original material should be addressed to the University Archivist.

Finding aids:


Archival Information

Archival history:

Few records have passed to the Archives and many seem to have been dispersed.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Created by the club.

Allied Materials

Related material:

For an account of the history of the Polytechnic Ramblers see The Polytechnic Magazine, Mar 1949, p 75. Records of the rambles of the Christian Workers Union in 1886 and, from later that year, the Polytechnic Ramblers are found in Home Tidings, succeeded in 1888 by The Polytechnic Magazine, which forms the main source for the history of the club. The University of Westminster Archives also holds records of other Polytechnic clubs.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Arthur Winter, 'They Made Today: a History of the 100 Years of the Polytechnic Sports Clubs and Societies' (4 volumes, Polytechnic Harriers [1976]-1980) includes information on the Polytechnic Rambling Club. Members of the Polytechnic Rambling Club were in 2002 compiling a short history of the club.

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jan 2002

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