Harrogate marks A History of Bohemian Soho, The Colony Club

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A Private Affair - with Sophie Parkin explored the history of a legendary Soho bohemian watering hole in a Harrogate gallery.

The fascinating event with the author was a private party with friends and supporters to celebrate the opening of the gallery as the permanent home of 108 Fine Art and the Joash Woodrow archive.

Among those attending were modern surrealist artist and writer Nicholas Jolly and Pop Art visionary Dudley Edwards.

Sophie, who is a writer, poet and artist, was a member of The Colony Club on London’s Dean Street before it closed.

Saturday’s event marked the publication of her new book, A History of Bohemian Soho, The Colony Club, 1948 -2008.

As wild as her subject matter, she explained the background to the book, which contains almost 300 pages of original material with interviews, photographs and art pieces.

108 Fine Art’s informal setting was perfect for Sophie’s personal reminiscences of celebrity members past and present, some of them scandalous.

Hilarious tales were interspersed with slides of the illustrious names who frequented the quintessentially bohemian Colony Club. Among the faces popping up were original proprietor Muriel Belcher, Francis Bacon, Dylan Thomas, George Melly, Jude Law, Suggs and artist Damien Hirst.

Rock stars drawn to its bohemian milieu included The Clash , Blur and Alabama 3.

The evening also saw the unveiling of a new set of prints to complement the book by contemporary artists Sarah Lucas, Patrick Hughes, Molly Parkin, Michael Woods, Abigail Lane and Chris Battye.

The private party opened with a recital by London-based, award-winning classical guitarist Adam Brown who performed wonderful Cuban and Brazilian pieces and some jazz in the run-up to a date at St. Martin-in-the-Fields.

More information at www.thecolonyroom.com