Many of you may remember the 1867 Club, which was established in 2004 and raised vital funds for my election in 2005 - and then again for my subsequent re-election in 2010. It really was a vital fundraising group and I enjoyed many super evenings in the company of members with some great speakers.
As many of you know, we face challenging times financially in the Association. In addition, we have been approached by some members keen to see a Patron's Club re-established in Guildford as we are one of only a few Associations in Surrey without one (although we do have a very successful Breakfast Club, which is exceptionally well-received).
In response to this, I am delighted to say that the 1867 Club is now active once more and will meet twice each year in the spiritual home of Conservativism and Unionism, the Carlton Club in London's St James's Street. There, members of the 1867 Club will have the opportunity to join like-minded others in the company of Cabinet Ministers or respected political commentators for a summer cocktail reception and an autumn four-course dinner.
As the Club's Patron, I will attend whenever I can and am taking a very keen interest in it. I would like, for example, members of the Club to have a say in the types of events that it provides. Events and guests for this year have been pencilled in but before we can confirm these, we need to ensure we have enough potential members.
When it was first established 13 years ago, membership cost £295 for a single and £495 for a couple and we have decided to offer those prices to founder members joining in 2017. Your Conservative Party and Guildford Conservative Association membership would obviously be included in this; although the option to opt-out of this exists for any friends of members who might wish to join the Club but not the Party.
It would be wonderful to make the Club a reality once again; I hope that those of you with an interest in politics, good food and a sense of our Party's history will consider it and join me at the launch event this summer. An application form can be requested from the Hon Secretary Simon Ashall on 01483 300330 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. No funds will be taken from you until our 2017 events are confirmed and in the diary.
With my best wishes
Rt Hon Anne Milton
MP for Guildford