As the Penn closes a new door opens

Thursday, 4th March 2021 — By John Gulliver

NEW hope has arisen for the old hands who used to stay in the Quaker-run Penn Club in Bloomsbury – a century-old hotel forced to close as a victim of the Covid pandemic.

After I wrote recently about the plight of the Penn, news spread to its members all over the world who used to stay regularly in the Bedford Square hotel.

Now, a 12th-century foundation, The Royal Foundation of St Katherine, based in Limehouse, have written to me promising to “provide a safe, comfortable place in central London,” for those who would normally have stayed at the Penn.

St Katherine have also agreed to provide a Quaker section in their library.

I do not know of St Katherine’s but assume their offer is a step in the right direction.

The Penn Club – set up after the First World War by ambulance men at the war front – used to provide first class hotel accommodation at less than half of West End hotel rates, run on traditional Quaker lines.

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