Hg2 : The Hedonist

Workingmen’s Club

The BGWC is not like other members clubs in London – money, power and good looks won’t get you anywhere here. Since 1953, it’s been a social club for real East Enders and until 2002 was a closed shop. However, faced with financial ruin, the committee opened the doors to local events producer Warren Dent, who let in non-members not of the workingmen variety, whose beer money has kept the club a-go-go. The 1970s interior is unchanged (mock teak panelling, swirling red carpets, leatherette chairs and laminate tables), and an authentic scuzz lingers. Members have their own private floor downstairs while Dent’s delights take place upstairs – the BGWC has one of the most creative and fun party programmes in London. There’s all kinds of ‘oke, cabaret (from amateur show-offs to out-there performance artists), dance classes and, of course (it’s a club after all), live music, DJs and dancing. It’s crawling with sharply dressed scenesters (‘So ironic!’ they squeal), though the charm (and cheap prices) of a workingmen’s club lives on. And now with infamous guerrilla artist Banksy’s Yellow Lines Flower Painter painted on its outside wall, the BGWC has been granted immortality.

42 Pollard Row,
Bethnal Green,
E2 6NB
+44 20 7739 7170
Opening Times
8pm-2am Thurs-Sat; 7pm-midnight Sun (sometimes Mon-Wedss; see listings)
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