Change in the air as Royal Over-Seas League closes its doors

Hogmanay fireworks as viewed from the the Royal Overseas League's prime spot at Number 100, Princes Street. Picture: Jon Savage
Hogmanay fireworks as viewed from the the Royal Overseas League's prime spot at Number 100, Princes Street. Picture: Jon Savage
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A Princes Street institution since 1930, the Royal Over-Seas League shuts for refurbishment next month with no date for re-opening. Boasting spectacular views of the Castle, at No.100 it’s a prime spot.

The Royal Scots Club on Abercromby Place will be the club’s temporary home, but the arrangement could become permanent if the RO-SL decides to put 
No.100 on the market, as did the RAF Club its Hillside Crescent property in October.

Clubs with overnight accommodation provided a valuable service in the days before cheap hotels and air travel, and still do so, but outside of London they have a tough job to remain viable.

With the House of Fraser building now up for sale and talk of it returning to a hotel, the future shape of the West End of Princes Street is still unclear and change will accelerate when the new St James Centre opens for business in 2020 and draws more shoppers to its covered malls.