From the Standard‘s diary last night:
A welcome return to the Colony Room as one of its habituées, writer Sophie Parkin, is set to publish a history of the infamous Soho club.
“It’s about the cultural and social hub of London from 1948 to 2008,” she says. “The book will be crammed full of gossip, some of it 50 years old.”
Regulars at the club included artist Francis Bacon and journalist Jeffrey Bernard. Parkin’s book is being published in December by Vink Ink, which is run by her husband Jan Vink.
Parkin, who was a member of the club for 25 years, has had access to a raft of unpublished material.
“The archive came from Michael Wojas after he died,” says Parkin. Wojas was the barman and last owner of the club, which closed its doors in 2008.
“He had all the stuff from Muriel Belcher, the original owner, and Ian Board, who took over. A lot had fallen to pieces but there were John Deacon’s photos, which Francis Bacon used for his pictures and all membership forms.”
Parkin made an early entry to the club. “My mum, Molly Parkin, made me a member for my 18th birthday — not a traditional present. I joined in 1980 for a quarter of a century. My mum had been going there since the Fifties with Henrietta Moraes and Francis Bacon and so on.”
Michael Parkin, Sophie’s father, was an art dealer who held the first exhibition of artists from the Colony Room 30 years ago. The book is timed to mark that anniversary.
First posted: Friday, August 24th, 2012.