A Home Away From Home: The India Club exhibition

A wedding reception at the India Club

In February 2019 we opened an exhibition in London, which shone a light on the rich social history of one of the city’s most fascinating community spaces: The India Club.

Founded shortly after Indian independence by Krishna Menon, President Nehru and Lady Mountbatten, the India Club is perhaps better known for its close links with the India League. Originally located at 41 Craven Street before moving to 143 Strand, the Club was established to ‘promote and further Indo-British friendship’ and quickly became a vibrant hub for a growing British South Asian community in London.

With one of the earlier Indian restaurants in London, the India Club soon gained a reputation beyond the Asian community and became a hotspot for cosmopolitan Londoners. Virtually unchanged for over 50 years, the Club still acts as a vibrant hub for a range of Anglo-Indian organisations and an extended community of journalists, writers, artists, academics and students who regularly meet there.

Based around a newly-formed archive of oral history interviews carried out by National Trust volunteers, this small audio-based exhibition provided visitors with the opportunity to engage with the lives and stories of those who considered the Club a ‘home-away-from-home’ from the late 1950s to the present day.

Thank you to our collaborators

Our thanks go to those who have supported the creation of this exhibition.To the India Club managers, for lending us their space and for sharing so many contacts and stories. To the British Library, for providing us with a small bursary to train National Trust volunteers to conduct the oral history interviews. To our event partners: Migration Museum,Comfort Food Stories, Migrateful and Specular Assembly.To Chocolate Films for producing a beautiful series of documentary portraits of people connected to the club. But most of all to the people we interviewed, for sharing their stories with us.

If you have any enquiries please email London@nationaltrust.org.uk