"Tradesmen's entrance London Street." I wonder how many people recognise this instruction? This was the notice at the portal of the Northern Counties Club in Londonderry. Like many members clubs the Northern Counties is no more. Regrettable but perhaps inevitable. It has now been transformed into a small hotel under the style of, "Bishop's Gate Hotel." The objects of the Club were stated to be, "social, cultural and recreational, with the provision of residential and catering facilities for members."
Ordinary Club Members, all of whom were male, were defined as Country Members if they did not have their principal residence, office or place of business within ten miles of the Club. The advantage of being a Country Member was that you paid a reduced entrance fee and annual subscription. Females were not permitted to be Ordinary Members but instead could apply to become Lady Associate Members. They did not have a share in the property of the Club. The Club also had junior members. These individuals were aged between eighteen and twenty five years of age and they paid one half of the subscription appropriate to the membership they would have been required to apply for after their twenty fifth birthday. Junior Members had no voting rights and of course had no entitlement to a share in the property of the Club. Neither were they permitted to take any part in the management of the Club as indeed was the case with Lady Associate Members. Rule eleven permitted the election of Life Members and Honorary Members from amongst the Ordinary Club Membership.
The Club Rules also contained provision for temporary members in particular persons visiting Londonderry who were members of either Tyrone County Club or the University Club of Dublin. My recollection is that the University Club amalgamated with the St. Stephen's Green Club circa 1980. Reciprocal rights pertained, certainly with St. Stephen's Green.