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Royal Naval Association Club

(formerly Happy Return)

Church Street

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Premises Type

This is a club, which means that the bar may be only open to members.

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Opening Times


Monday7.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Tuesday7.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Wednesday7.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Thursday7.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Friday6.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Saturday7.00 pm - 11.00 pm
Sunday11.30 am - 4.00 pm


Royal Naval Association Club

About the Club

Previously a pub, the Happy Return, the premises are now occupied by the Royal Naval Association. Entry is open to members, visitors may be signed in by members. Cask ale may only be available at weekends.

Historic Interest

A large former Shipstones pub built to service the now demolished Lenton flats. As the "Happy" it was popular with many of Lenton's students. Purchased by the City Council to replace the Royal Naval Association premises in town which were subject to a compulsory purchase order in order to make way for the tram. The club now holds an impressive array of naval memorabilia, including ship crests, photos and models. For those of you interested in curious naval coincidences:(1) the Happy Return (published 1937) is the title of one of C.S.Forester's "Hornblower" novels, about a frigate captain in the Napoleonic Wars (perhaps partly modeled on Stapleford's Sir John Borlase Warren) and (2) the club is located in a ward, part of which has the same name as the French port the Royal Navy evacuated in 1940 as part of Operation Dynamo. Historic England's Elain Harwood writes: "The Happy Return, 22 Church Street/ Lombard Street, Lenton, Nottingham, opened 29 July 1966 by Shipstone’s, whose chairman declared that The Happy Return was his favourite of C. S. Forester’s Hornblower novels. It was built to replace three public houses demolished for the Lenton flats, which were themselves demolished in 2015-16. The pub closed in 2010 and is now the Nottingham Royal Naval Association Club. The exterior appears well preserved, with original windows. It is also remarkably large. PS/B/42/2 (1-7) Plans of October 1964 by Reginald Cooper and Partners for Shipstone’s. They show a small beer cellar. The ground-floor plan is ‘L’-shaped with the public bar along the front, but with a ‘loggia’ at the rear of the lounge (it was in fact a small paved yard). A case store is behind the service area but the beer cellar and wine store are in the basement underneath this part. At the side (to Lombard Street) was a door to the ‘wine shop’ and to a large first-floor assembly room with its own lavatories. This is at the front of the upper floor with a private flat to the rear, which links to the service area but there is no obvious way to the assembly room, save from the public stairs." (Elain Harwood / Historic England). [Nottingham City Council; Dunkirk & Lenton Ward / Nottingham South Parliamentary Constituency].

Regular ales

This pub serves 1 regular beer.

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Club Features

  • RealAle Real Ale Available

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Royal Naval Association Club

Church Street

Sat Nav Reference

52.9489, -1.1736


  • <Bus Close to Bus Routes
  • <Metro Close to Metro

Nearby Bus Routes (50m)

Localink: L5

Closest Station (1850m)


Nearby Metro (600m)

Gregory Street

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Royal Naval Association Club - Nottingham Club

Royal Naval Association Club

Church Street

Club Features

  • Real Ale Available
  • Close to Bus Routes
  • Close to Metro

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