Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)UB/GUILD/A/28
TitleUniversity Overseas Club committee
Extent3 volumes
DescriptionThe first minute book contains a proposal for a scheme involving the establishment of an 'Anglo-Allied Club' on university premises at Great Charles Street for the use of overseas forces, administered by the British Council in association with the Guild, and with representatives from the Birmingham Hospitality committee. One of the first tasks of the committee was to consult students at Edmund Street about the scheme, and student representatives were also appointed to the committee. Subsequent discussion considered catering licences, allocation of rooms, provision of furniture, expenses for heating, agreement of a constitution, staffing, membership and visitors to the club including people in the city with an interest in the club who were not eligible for ordinary membership, some of whom were approved as Patrons. Other patrons included members of Government departments. Minutes also discuss opening hours, and the programme of events which was decided by the programme committee, probably a sub-committee of the Overseas Club committee. Rules for use of the club were drawn up and included in the minutes. The minutes include regular Directors reports on activities at the club. Publicity for events is discussed, and the minutes state that a Students Reception Committee was set up to receive overseas visitors. Some Programme committee reports are inserted. There is some discussion of discipline and damage to furniture. The financial position of the Club is reported, and in addition, there are income and expenditure accounts for 1944-1945.

A Forces Advisory committee was set up by 1944 to liaise with the military authorities, and a number of courses and weekend schools were held in addition to more social activities. Canadian nurses and Polish forces were using the Club in 1944, and there is evidence that other overseas groups were allowed membership even if they were not students. Indian Technicians studying engineering in the city were allowed entry in February 1944, for example. Minutes for the last few months of 1944 contain details of discussion about the future of the Club following demobilisation. When the University Overseas Club committee was replaced by the Guild Club committee after the British Council withdrew its involvement at the end of 1945, the minutes are primarily concerned with the programme of activities arranged. The minutes include the Guild Club Report for 1946-1947 and programmes for 1946, 1947 and 1948 which give information about weekend schools and evening activities
Access StatusOpen
Administrative HistoryThe University Overseas Club committee was established to manage activities at the club facilities being used for both students and overseas forces during the Second World War. The club was run jointly by the University and the British Council. The first volume of minutes contains a document drawn up by the 'Investigation committee' affixed to the inside front cover outlining the proposed scheme for a joint club for overseas forces and students, to be run by the British Council and the University. This document states that the Birmingham Hospitality committee, a body recognised by the City of Birmingham, was also to be involved, but it was evidently later decided to run the club without the participation of this body. The joint club was to be run by a committee consisting of both staff and student representatives and British Council representatives. This volume contains early meetings of what was styled the 'Great Charles St Drafting Committee' which met between 4 Feb 1943 and 17 Feb 1943 to decide the terms of use of the club. The name then appears to have changed to the 'British Council committee' for meetings from 28 May 1943 to 21 June 1943. Subsequent meetings from 20 July 1943 are of the 'University Overseas Club committee'. The constitution and rules of the club are also pasted into this volume

Although the committee changed its name to the 'University Overseas Club management committee' in the second volume, officers and business discussed remain very similar. It appears that other business was now discussed by sub-committees including the Forces Advisory committee and Programme committee, both of which are mentioned in the minutes of the last meeting in the first volume, 25 February 1944. The club closed at the end of December 1945 when the British Council withdrew its involvement. The University Guild Club took the place of the University Overseas Club in 1946. Evidence from the minute book for meetings of this committee indicates that it had met prior to 28 November 1945, suggesting that the two committees were functioning simultaneously, at least for a short period. The volume also contains reports and a copy of the programme of the Guild Club. Minutes of the meeting on 12 February 1948 discuss steps to be taken for the dissolution of the committee. The Guild Club Committee was eventually absorbed by the Union committee