Fonds PRA - Polytechnic Rambling Club

Identity area

Reference code



Polytechnic Rambling Club


  • 1886-2008 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

4 boxes; O/S album

Context area

Name of creator


Administrative 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 to have 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:

The male and female rambling clubs officially joined together in 1954.

Archival history

The records of the PRC were removed from the premises of the University when the Club lost its club room in 309 Regent Street. Subsequently items have been deposited in the University Archive by members of the PRC Committee who safeguarded the records. Ongoing deposits of more recent material continue. Other items acquired into the collection through purchases and donations.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Records of the Polytechnic Ramblers and Polytechnic Rambling Club.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The original order of these records has been lost due to both the fragmentary manner in which the records entered the University Archive . Arrangement decisions have therefore been taken by the Cataloguer based on type of record and ease of retrieval by users.

Claire Brunnen 2012

This collection has been sub-divided into the following series:

PRA/1 Annual General Meeting and Committees

PRA/2 Financial records

PRA/3 Club activities and events

PRA/4 Members' memorabilia

PRA/5 Publications

PRA/6 Photographs

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Status: Open. Access is subject to signing the Regulations for Access form, unless the records are restricted under the Data Protection Act 2018 or under exemptions in the Freedom of Information Act 2000

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Language of material

  • English

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Related units of description

See also RSP/P151f - Minute Book of the Christian Workers Union.

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