History of NCBC

Nottingham City Business Club is steeped in history. From humble beginnings in 1924, to Eleanor Roosevelt speaking in 1957, connecting with the Nottingham Roosevelt Scholarship and our continued support of Nottingham business into the 2020’s.



The first 50 years

The Nottingham City Business Club (NCBC) was founded in 1924 and Mr J G McMeeking was its first president. Mr McMeeking was in the lace business in which he built up an international reputation for his products and he remained an active member of the club until his death in 1967.The original aims of the NCBC were to discuss all matters pertaining to the business and social interests of its members and to arrange fortnightly luncheons, at which prominent members would speak on matters of commercial interest. The Club’s regular venue was the Mikado Café. The inaugural luncheon was addressed by Mr J Taylor, President of the Glasgow City Business Club, who spoke of America’s increasing economic influence.

In 1973 to mark the clubs 50th anniversary the President, Mr Desmond Husbands, commissioned a book which celebrated the year by year history of the club with a biography on all the Presidents. At the breakout of the second world war in 1939 the President was Mr Charles Atkey a businessman from the motor trade. The club received a telegram in this year from the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth to express their thanks to the club for its good wishes following their safe return from a tour of Canada. The club continued to function throughout the war.


Over 1000 speakers and events

Over the years NCBC has involved itself in many activities, but its enduring attraction has been its Friday lunch meetings which have featured celebrated international, national and local speakers. The Club is believed to be unique in this country and has been presided over by some of the most eminent and innovative business people of the city, and throughout its life has had a considerable influence upon the development of the City of Nottingham, as we know it today.

One of the club’s most treasured possessions is a book which has been signed by all speakers since 1945 and is still in use today. The first entry was from Mr Hausillart who spoke on ‘winning the peace’. Since then the club has hosted over 1000 speakers, including Eleanor Roosevelt in 1957 and today there remains a continued relationship between the Club and the Roosevelt Scholarship Programme which sends young business people on educational tours of the US.

Recent times

In more recent times one of the annual highlights is the Christmas lunch where the emphasis is a little more light-hearted. Recent speakers from the world of news, politics and entertainment at this popular event include Eddie the Eagle Edwards, John Sergeant, Christopher Biggins, Giles Brandreth, BBC reporter Mike Bushell, The Reverend Kate Bottley and Edwina Currie.

The club is run by a group of Council members elected each year at the Annual General Meeting. This Council of volunteers from the business community represent a wide range of organisations from a different sectors. The Council is headed by a President who holds the position for a year running from June to the following May with a different President appointed every year since Mr McMeeking in 1924.

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