NPG x31594; James Mackenzie Maclean by Sir (John) Benjamin Stone

On May 17, 1899 Winston Churchill accompanied by James Mackenzie Maclean, M.P. travelled to Cardiff to officially open the new premises of the Riverside Ward Conservative Club in the city. The new club had been built at a cost of over £3,000. The 24 year-old Churchill had recently returned from India and resigned his army commission to enter British politics. Churchill and Maclean were met at the train station by a procession of club officials and members who took them first to their hotel and then to the club. The president of the Riverside Ward Conservative Club, J.G. Thomas, presented Churchill with a gold key as a memento. That evening Churchill addressed a Conservative meeting and declared that, “Great Britain occupied a stronger position in Europe and the world than it had ever occupied before.” The 63 year-old Maclean, who was the Conservative member of parliament for Cardiff and a former supporter of Lord Randolph Churchill, also spoke at the meeting.

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