Ye Olde Admiral Vernon Mustard Club

Alphington had its very own Mustard Club,Ye Olde Admiral Vernon Mustard Club but what was the Mustard Club?

It was said that Jeremiah Colman was truly brilliant at promoting his mustard and it is thought that the most dramatic of all his advertising campaigns was the formation of the Mustard Club.

It was in May 1922 that the noted British author Dorothy L. Sayers accepted the position of copywriter with Benson's one of London's largest advertising agencies. She worked on the large campaign commissioned by Colman's; the Mustard Club being the focus of the agencies efforts.

The Mustard Club ran from 1926 until 1933 and as many classic campaigns it began with a secret. The first adverts were displayed as bus posters asking, 'has father joined the mustard club?' The Mustard Club started out as a fictional club and only a promotional gimmick to advertise Colman's mustard but it became very fashionable and was the feature of many news items and cartoons of its time. Eventually, a department of 10 girls was established to deal with the 2000 membership applications that arrived each day. The Baron de Beef (President of the club), Lady Di Gester (Secretary), Master Mustard and Lord Bacon of Cookham 'peopled' the club.

Among the rules of the club were 'every member shall on all proper occasions eat mustard to improve his appetite and strengthen his digestion' and 'that every member shall instruct his children to "keep that schoolboy digestion" by forming the habit of eating mustard'.

The club produced several club songs, a deck of cards, a recipe book, a monthly newsletter and a password 'pass the mustard'. Also a short film was produced showing a trial of a man accused of eating a ham sandwich without mustard. The sandwich itself gave the crucial evidence. The offender was found guilty and condemned to soak in a mustard bath.

The Mustard Club closed during the Great Depression of the 1930s.



Copyright © Rowena Kirkpatrick