The bizarre history of London’s private members’ clubs

At the height of the IRA’s terrorist campaign on mainland Britain in December 1974, a bomb was lobbed through the front window of the In & Out – the Naval and Military Club, then in Piccadilly. Exploding, it knocked everyone off their feet, including the barman Robbins, and trashed the Long Bar. But in the silence that followed came the unwavering request of senior member Commander Vaughan Williams: ‘Another pink gin please, Robbins.’ A subsequent cartoon in the London Evening Standard depicted the scene of devastation (no one was injured or killed) with a mess-jacket-wearing member calmly wondering what the barman had put in his pink gin: ‘But I’ll have