The story of the Cobden Club mallet
The splendid Grade II listed Cobden Club at 170-172 Kensal Road, now a private dwelling, was opened in 1880 as a working men's club and institute. Golborne Life ran a feature about listed buildings in Golborne
in 2013, which included an entry on the Cobden Club.
A charming lady from Texas wrote to the editor to ask if she could link to the Golborne Life piece from a listing on eBay, where she was planning to sell a commemorative mallet presented at the opening of the Cobden. The editor readily agreed and asked out of curiosity where she had found the mallet.
In her younger days, she explained, she'd been an air hostess and often had stopovers in London when she would use her spare time to go antique hunting. She'd found the mallet on one of those trips, possibly on Portobello Road Market.
Next came an unexpected and extremely generous offer. Perhaps the editor would like the mallet? She said she'd be happy to see it returning to the area it had come from, almost as if it was coming home.
In 2014, she travelled to London, on an antique buying trip, and handed over the mallet to the editor. The inscription on this fascinating historical artefact reads:
Presented to N.G. Pennington, Esq by the members of the Cobden Working Mens Club, Nov. 6th 1880.
In fact Nathan Glossop Pennington built the Cobden Club with his architectural partner Thomas Edward Bridgen, and several of their buildings still stand today in Manchester where they did most of their work. Presumably, Bridgen got a mallet as well, so the question is, where is it?
If you know where the other mallet is, email the editor at firstname.lastname@example.org