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The Reform Club was founded in the ferment of ideas, ideals and political activity which in part found expression in the Great Reform Act of 1832. Having succeeded, after a great parliamentary tussle, in securing the passing of the Reform Bill, in 1832, Radicals and Whigs needed a centre for their political activities. The Club first opened its doors to members in a house at 104 Pall Mall, on the 24th of May 1836. It quickly set about planning its own building and, after an architectural competition, selected Charles Barry to create a new clubhouse, in the style of an Italian palazzo. The work was finished in 1841 and was immediately hailed as a masterpiece of classical architecture. The clubhouse has remained largely unchanged in appearance to the present day. The Club offers members the benefits of an extensive library, fine dining and an excellent wine cellar. There is a Billiards Room and a Card Room. Social events, such as music and theatre evenings, garden parties, a Christmas party, and discussion evenings are arranged for members and guests. A number of societies exist within the Club to pursue special interests, among them economics and current affairs, literature and history, the media, military intelligence and science and technology. Typically, distinguished speakers are invited to address these societies, with dinner served to members and their guests either before or after and either formally or informally. The Club will forever be associated with Jules Verne's Around the World in Eighty Days, as the place where the idea of this incredible journey was conceived and the famous bet made.