To celebrate the 185th birthday of the Law Society library, our excellent librarians challenged Obiter to identify a connection between the Society and the comedian Sid James.

Obiter could have pondered this for 185 years and still not have guessed that in 1961 the comedian, then starring in the sitcom Citizen James, was deemed the obvious person to invite to the opening of the Law Society’s Ladies Annexe.

The annexe was a progressive move of a kind: until it opened, Law Society members were not allowed to bring women guests into the dining area, bars or common room ‘except between 5pm and 7.30pm when afternoon tea was served in the Buffet Room’.

The annexe apparently included a bar, a dining room, a kitchen, powder room and cloakrooms. The Carry On actor was indeed present at the opening and it is now safe to say that Sid was no stranger either to ladies or the law.

Incredibly, the annexe survived into the punk era. It was closed in 1976 after a brief existence as the Carbolic Smoke Ball bar, after the pioneering consumer rights case.