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Children aged two and over may now use the Polo Bar

Forum Home Forums Horizon Project – Have your say! Children aged two and over may now use the Polo Bar

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    This post was sent out under the Horizon banner by the Club Secretary.

    I have yet to meet anyone who thinks it a good idea – including the staff I discussed it with this morning.

    Is everyone I speak to failing to understand what makes a good club bar?

    If so, please can someone explain what we are getting wrong.

    Robyn Gilkes

    Both my husband and myself and many friends agree with you. The Polo Bar WAS a place where we could enjoy a peaceful drink with friends and family without the noise and distraction of young children. It will be much worse during the Winter when they can’t use the tented area. PLEASE revert to it being an Adult only place.


    In answer to two questions I received from people who spotted this post.

    1. No, I don’t remember it being discussed in the Horizon Consultative Forum. Correct me, any other Forum Member, if I missed it please. It must have been a recommendation to the Main Cttee from another source – but I could be wrong if I was dozing through the discussion on the HCF.

    2. How many extra people between the age of two and eighteen can use the Polo Bar? I calculate about one thousand five hundred.



    The recommendation came in the normal way from the House Committee to Main.

    It is worth looking at our Chairman Luke Nunnely’s comments on the topic in the Hurlingham Magazine. As I understand it, the idea is not at all to encourage children to go the the Polo Bar nor do we expect they will. Rather, the idea is to make Hurlingham less of a place where so much is covered by detailed, legalistic rules and more is left to members’ good judgement, manners and consideration for others.

    There was clear feedback in Horizon that many members dislike the legalistic, detailed and prescriptive style of our rule book – at least as they perceive it. We believe that not many people actually read or understand most of the rules, but if they were fewer, less legalistic more principle based, they might be better understood.

    The intent is to try to address these issues over the next year or two, and the change re the Polo Bar is one of House Committee’s first suggestion towards that end. It is very much on trial. The view is that there is no harm in the occasional child coming in to the Polo Bar, which is all that is anticipated. But if problems do in practice arise, we can revert or take other action. There is certainly no intent to alter the character of the Polo Bar nor any expectation that the rule change will in practice do that. But we will see.


    Madness. I have two young children who would soon both be eligible to then visit the Polo Bar. This is not a good idea. In genergal the more people the club has visiting the stronger the rule book needs to be to maintain its coherency and order. You don’t leave areas down to peoples good judgement but rather direct them to the appropriate places of refuge. Choice is overated!


    I have 3 young-ish children and don’t think under 12s should have access to the polo bar: members should be able to chose to be with, or without, young children (as a mother I like to escape them too sometimes!). I fear this will only worsen, not improve, the inter-generational conflict. Let’s focus instead on creating a cost, permanent, indoor family area (sofas, coffee tables & papers, etc) and leave a few kid-free areas like the polo bar and library.


    I have two young children and am lucky to have the entirety of HC to enjoy. The bar does not need to be included in this! It should remain a peaceful sanctuary!


    This is not a good idea.


    I do not agree with children being in the polo bar. This is an adult area.


    My experience is that the “good judgment” of many members or guests is too often absent, particularly where their children’s conduct is concerned. Seating in the Polo Bar is often at a premium and the notion that only the occasional child will be there when the relaxation becomes known is fantasy. They have plenty of areas where they can play and make a noise; adults need their area too. Very few members have the slightest idea what the rules or bye-laws say but they are there for occasions when needed. It is a Utopian dream to think that a club does not need rules.


    Honestly in what arena anywhere are children allowed in a bar under 12? And the notion of leaving it up to members good judgement to decide – ha! Just go and spend a sunny day at the outside pool to view dozens of examples of outright bad judgement by members relating not just to children but their own behaviour towards staff. Times and behavioural standards are changing I fear and its only something like a rulebook that keep Hurlingham life relatively in order. I really loathe that things are so PC now that staff are too afraid to tell the young to get off their mobiles talking or put on SHOES to go into the Polo Bar from outside.


    Also on the topic of manners and good judgement by members…..
    I own a new Car and actually go OUTSIDE to the car park to make mobile calls. Members drive up beside me and with zero regard crash their doors right into mine while getting out and while I am sitting there in plain view with my windows down – could NOT care less. Tonight I said “excuse me you just opened your doors right into the side of mine and there is plenty of space between us” politely and I was told the classic four letter word “oh just blank off” by an adult male middle aged type and told to get a life so there you go – all these members with so called manners??? Think not….


    I note the mother’s comment – quite nice to have a haven from such responsibilities. The Bar should be for adult members, those with children can more suitably use the Harness Room and the Conservatory.But at what age does a child become old enough?


    The Polo Bar being for adults seems eminently sensible. However, there are many times where I am with my young son (not in a pram anymore) and want to get a couple of drinks from the bar without leaving him on his own outside. It is very useful to now be able to have him with me whilst we come in and out and not feel like we are doing anything wrong. I wouldn’t then think to sit in there drinking / reading etc with him as it is not the most child friendly environment.
    Separately, in the past, when it has been raining, it has been impossible to cross from one side of the club to the other with a child as they haven’t been allowed in the long gallery (we have been verbally told off for crossing from West to East indoors when it has been raining). The latest relaxation in the rules has helped.
    Ideally there would be a proper, dedicated childrens / young persons area in the club but being allowed to walk through other areas of the club with children is important still for many.


    The comments from Richard Rawlinson and Henry Prideaux are fair. As a father of three children under the age of 6, I also have no desire for them to be in the Polo Bar with any frequency. But, since this relaxation, how often has anyone been disturbed by young children in the bar? The children do not want to be in there, they would far rather be almost anywhere else in the club, and especially outside! If they are there, it is probably to help their parents in locating a friend or family member, passing through, ordering a drink briefly etc. If they are there to watch a sports match then that is noisy anyway. What nobody will find is the Polo Bar overrun by children. And, the time we most want a quiet and relaxing adult social environment is in the evenings, and that is when the children will have long been taken home for bath and bed. This is not a major issue, and the committee’s approach seems eminently sensible. If it did become an issue, we could easily revert back to a more stringent rule.

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