ABOUT THE CTL
About the CTL
The Club Taurino of London was founded in Wimbledon in 1959 by the British sculptor George Erik. It is now the largest club for English speaking aficionados.
Members total around 300 and do not just live in London or the United Kingdom: many members live in the USA, in Spain, and elsewhere in the world. Their knowledge of Spanish varies from nil to native. Communication is in English, with a smattering of technical words in Spanish. The club welcomes new members.
The club’s programme of activities and social events has been continuous since the year of its foundation, in 1959. The programme includes:
Meetings in London
The club provides regular opportunities for aficionados in London to meet and discuss the bullfight: its history, recent developments and its future. Until 2020 meetings were held in a Spanish tapas bar-restaurant. During the coronavirus-related restrictions, we began a programme of virtual meetings, using Zoom.
Club meetings in London include visits by special guests from the taurine world, discussions of specific themes, book sales, and even quizzes. Sometimes we simply show videos. Whatever the programme, meetings always allow members to meet up with each other for a chat in a convivial atmosphere.
The club celebrates the anniversary of its foundation in November 1959, at a lunch in a private club in central London. A leading personality from the world of the bulls attends as guest of honor at this lunch, and to meet and discuss the bulls with the members.
Guests in recent years have invariably been leading matadors, such as Paco Ureña in 2019 and Antonio Ferrera in 2017. Other visitors to the club from Spain have included matadors Curro Díaz, Juan José Padilla, Miguel Ángel Perera and Iván Fandiño. Our guest of honour in 2018 was Victorino Martín, a top breeder of fighting bulls, President of the Fundación Toro de Lidia and now one of the club’s two Honorary Vice-Presidents.
La Divisa is the club’s flagship product. It is a colour magazine of 52 pages, issued six times a year, and posted to all club members. It comprises original comment and articles on the art of bullfighting, written almost entirely by club members. The magazine debates taurine themes, news items, and includes personal reports of corridas, items of historical interest, translations of important foreign articles, colour photographs (mostly by the club’s own excellent photographers) and other illustrations. La Divisa is the leading English language publication on bullfighting. The magazine is greatly valued by members, and its quality has been the object of worldwide admiration.
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Lunches and meetings in Spain
The club’s programmes are not confined to the UK. The club organises social events in Spain (sometimes with guests of honour) during the taurine season (March to October), usually coinciding with the season’s major ferias, such as Madrid, Sevilla, Valencia, Pamplona and Bilbao. Club members living far from London, or even overseas, usually value these events in Spain, which allow them to meet members and attend bullfights at the same time.
Visits to bull-breeding ranches, and practical courses in bullfighting
The club offers opportunities for members to take practical classes in the art of bullfighting. The club has also arranged visits to bull-breeding ranches (‘ganaderías’).
Information and advice for members
Most members freely share their knowledge of ferias, of where to buy tickets for bullfights, and their recommended hotels, restaurants and taurine bars.
Bullfights on TV and the internet
Members have access to the club's regular e-mail information service about bullfights which will be transmitted on TV and internet (with dates, times, programmes etc.).
Items may be purchased from the club's extensive collection of English and Spanish taurine books. Many are rare editions, donated or bequeathed by other members. Several of the books were written by club members, and were published by the club.
Annual photographic competition
Members may compete in the club's annual taurine photographic competition, usually held in the autumn, after the end of the season.
The prize-winners are announced before the club's Anniversary Lunch in November in London.
The 2021 photographic competition will be held in the autumn of 2021.