I am not sure it is the oldest ski club in the world – I believe the Davos Ski Club might have that distinction, but no other ski club has been continuously in operation longer than the SCGB. The founding meeting famously occurred in the Café Royal, in London, on 6th May 1903.
At it’s peak the Ski Club had representatives and offices across Europe and a stately headquarters in Eaton Square. Many famous names in the evolution of skiing were intimately associated with the Ski Club, such as Sir Arnold Lunn, and many people distinguished in other fields held high office, notably past president, Air Chief Marshal Hugh Dowding.
The Ski Club has continuously adapted in its long history and still has over 20,000 members and an active presence in leading ski resorts. it also operates a successful holiday operation and has one of the best ski web sites around. The current president is the Olympic skier, Chemmy Alcott.
The Club operates out of more modest premises these days, not far from the Oval in London. However it’s rich history has been retained and is largely in the custodianship of de Montford University in Leicester, where 50 linear metres of archived material are held. Together with Professor Peter Slee, Vice-Chancellor of Leeds Beckett University, I am hoping to ensure that we can ensure that the heritage of the Ski Club, and indeed Britain’s contribution to the evolution of skiing, is maintained and, with both the risks and opportunities of the digital age, is made more widely available for members, researchers and anyone else who is interested in the history of this incredible sport.
Watch this space!