Club buttons & the story of the Ragamuffin

Location: Display cabinet on 5th floor

Club Buttons & The Ragamuffin

Captain William (Billy) Higginson Duff was a colourful rakish character with a brief and undistinguished military career, who once described a particularly poor breakfast at the Club after a night gambling a ‘Rag and Famish affair’. Although this was intended to insult, as the ‘Rag and Famish’ was a squalid local gaming house ‘for broken down gamblers who played for coppers’, those Members present were amused and began to use The Rag as a  nickname for the Club. Club buttons were produced and worn with pride, original examples of which are on display; Members can purchase a set of Rag and Famish buttons in a nod to their predecessors sense of humour.

After WWII a group of Members who had survived the War often lunched together and called themselves ‘The Ragamuffins’ and this term came to be used by longstanding Members in general. A ragamuffin is the emblem woven into the Club ‘City’ tie and more recently a silver statuette was commissioned for the Club Table thanks to the generosity of Major and Mrs Keith Bonny. The Ragamuffin has since become the Club’s mascot and can be seen on the Club table in the Dining Room at both lunch and dinner.

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