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'Come ride with us', says press club

Birmingham Press Club has launched a membership drive – or push-started it at least!

Directors of the world’s oldest press club gathered in St Paul’s Square to launch the drive for new members by symbolically push-starting a vintage sports car, a locally built Austin Healey.

The club is free for journalists to join and has a long established reputation as a media focal point, with members drawn from the press, broadcasting and business.

  • Membership drive (left to right): Press Club secretary Tony Bell, chairman Andrew Sparrow, and directors Fay Goodman and Fred Bromwich
  • Club chairman Andrew Sparrow said: “Birmingham Press Club has re-invented itself in the past couple of years, following a decision to relinquish its former premises in the basement of the Grand Hotel.

    “We have re-focused the club, and one way in which we have done this is to launch the West Midlands Media Awards, a competition which is open to all journalists in the region.

    “Our awards is now in its second year and has already become well established among the media community.

    “Now we have turned our attention to re-establishing some of the events that Birmingham Press Club was once renowned for, including our celebrity luncheons.”

    Members will be invited to join social events throughout the year, ranging from the celebrity lunches to more informal gatherings aimed at increasing social contact with professional colleagues.

    Andrew said: “In the past we have had the likes of Michael Parkinson, Jeremy Paxman, Anna Ford, Max Clifford, Clive Anderson, Sir Trevor MacDonald, all of whom proved hugely popular.

    “We’re now pleased to announce that we are to resume our celebrity lunch schedule with two big name speakers, former BBC supreme Greg Dyke and Channel 4 newsreader Jon Snow.

    “We hope Jon and Greg will be the first of many celebrities visiting the oldest press club in the world, and in this way hope to show the media community and others that we have a lot to offer aside from the West Midlands Media Awards.

    “With that in mind, I hope people will see that we are not only back on the road, but roaring into the fast lane – and I urge them to come and take a ride with us!”

    Greg Dyke will be appearing at the Burlington Hotel, New Street, on September 30 and the Jon Snow event will be a fortnight later, on October 12. Press Club members attending both events will be eligible for discounted admission.

    Anyone who would like to join Birmingham Press Club should contact Tony Bell on 0121 450 4220.

    Do you have a story about the regional press? Ring 0116 227 3122/3121, or
    e-mail pastill@nep.co.uk