About WACL History Last Updated: Sep 16, 2020

It usually comes as some surprise to people, that WACL was founded as long ago as January 1923. It also says something for that era that the Club was founded by men, for women! Its ‘Godfathers’, who forever retained the Club’s affection were, from the client side, Mr John Cheshire, MD of Lever Brothers, and from advertising Sir William Crawford and Mr CH Vernon of C Vernon & Sons.

The reasons for the founding of the Club were quite simple: firstly, a growing number of women were beginning to find their way into (non-secretarial) roles within the advertising industry, as saleswomen for advertising space, and as managers within advertising agencies. Even more importantly, however, a convention of the International Advertising Association was due to be held at Wembley in 1924. A significant number of the American delegates due to arrive were women, and at that time there was no organisation capable of organising the welcome for such women.

From such a relatively pragmatic beginning, WACL has grown in size, influence and status to the organisation it is today.

Fortunately, from its very beginning, our members (WACLers), led by the year’s President & Executive Committee, have maintained a record of their activities over each year, comprising handwritten ‘Minutes’, letters & telegrams, artefacts & programmes from various events, together with photographs, illustrations, and advertising. This archive, kept at the History of Advertising Trust, and updated regularly, offers a fascinating example of women’s social history in Britain. It also serves to confirm that WACL itself, whilst moving with the times, has always stayed true to its original values of companionship & mutual support, offering a uniquely special welcome to both women & men alike at its public events.

You are invited to take a look at how WACL has met with events throughout its history by clicking on each decade. And below please see a slideshow kindly curated by HAT showing 90 wonderful years of WACL images. (click on the far right icon to open in full screen to enjoy it at its best!)

Photographs and historical records supplied by The History of Advertising Trust.