PM History

You can trace the origins of what is now called The PM Trust back to a trust deed agreement made between The National Association of Boys Clubs and George Comine Strachan Black O.B.E, a retired Army Major and the first Chairman of The PM Committee, on 28th September 1949. Donations to the PM Boys Club as it was known, were used to purchase the remaining leasehold of 37 Ecclestone Square. Even before Ecclestone Square was purchased there are records of the crypt of St Martins-in-the-Fields being used as an afternoon “club” for young hotel and restaurant workers to meet and relax and this is probably where the “PM” comes from. 

The original constitution stated the objects of the club were as follows; 

“To promote the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of boys working in clubs, hotels and restaurants and catering establishments in the West End of London by the provision of facilities for their mental, physical training, education and recreation in such manner as the PM committee shall think fit and proper and the club may provide for accommodation for a limited number of boys”.

In 1949 The PM Club committee consisted of members from The Ministry of Labour (Hotel and Catering Trades), The National Association of Boys Clubs, The British Hotels and Restaurants Association, The Caterers Association of Great Britain, King Georges Jubilee Trust and no less than four clergymen. The constitution of the PM Club was amended in 1984 and then again in 1994 to better reflect the charities changing objectives and the times.  In the late eighties, the Club began to offer accommodation to young ladies (at 19 Courtfield Gardens) as well as young men (at 1 Barkston Gardens) just around the corner from each other with a total of approximately 120 bed spaces. At this time, the Club was managed for many years by a very dedicated husband and wife team Peter and Barbara Pound. Many young chefs started their careers in London whilst staying at the PM Club and have gone on to be very successful, including Jason Atherton and Marcus Wareing. 

The premises of the PM Club buildings in Barkston Gardens and Courtfield Gardens, Earls Court were sold in 2002. The charities income is now derived from an investment fund set up using the original PM Boys Club endowment fund set up on 28th September 1949. 

Although the PM Club premises closed in 2002, its objectives now live on in the newly formed charity, the PM Trust, which officially came into existence on 23rd September 2002. Douglas Oram was the Chairman with Tony Allen, Brian Turner C.B.E, the late Robyn Jones O.B.E. and Ruston Toms appointed as the founding Trustees.  

Douglas Oram retired as Chairman in January 2017 and Ruston Toms (a former member of the PM Club and Founding Director of Blue Apple Catering Ltd) was then elected by the Trustees as the new Chairman.

The Charities objectives are broadly in-line with the original constitution from 1949 albeit without the residential and pastoral elements. This is to assist young people embarking on a career in hospitality by providing financial support in the way of grants and bursaries for their education, training and development.