flying the flag for free-thinking literature
London Books,
39 Lavender Gardens,
London SW11 1DJ

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Established in 1999, The Flag Club is an informal author’s drinking club with its roots in The Lamb And Flag pub, its regular gatherings offering thirsty authors and their book-loving pals the chance to meet and talk literature. One of the Flag Club’s founders, Alan Sillitoe, has been using the pub since the Sixties, and is among a series of authors who have drunk there, going back to the days of Charles Dickens, Samuel Butler and the poet John Dryden.

Whether squeezed into the downstairs booths, or spreading out in the upstairs Bucket Of Blood bar, The Flag Club is fluid in form, thought and movement, and often drinks up and moves on, drifting through the cracks and corners of the old Soho of legend, moving from The Salisbury to The Fitzroy Tavern via the likes of The Blue Posts and The Ship.

The Flag Club aims to maintain the standards set by writers such as Gerald Kersh, George Orwell, James Curtis, Frank Norman, Julian Maclaren-Ross and Mark Benney, a tradition taken on by various rock n roll, mod and punk writers/singers. The Flag Club marches to the tunes of The Small Faces and The Clash, The Who and The Sex Pistols, with flashes of Dan Leno and Hard Fi, Harry Champion and Mike Skinner.

Current members include Alan Sillitoe, Martin Knight, John King, Howard Baker, Jaimie Macdonald, Adam Porter, Gary Armstrong, Sean Bean, Irvine Welsh, Dave Johnstone and Paolo Hewitt. Membership is invite only, and there are no fees or back-slapping involved.

Following protracted negotiations between London Books and The Flag Club, involving eight pints of lager and two packets of salt-and-vinegar crisps, The FC Executive Committee have agreed to act as the entertainment wing of London Books. The coming year will see a selection of events featuring London novels and London writers, which will be advertised on this site.

The Flag Club – flying the flag for free-thinking literature.

The Flag Club Executive Committee: King, Sillitoe, Knight