The Pyramus & Thisbe Club was set up in 1974 by leading party wall surveyors of the time following widespread misreporting of the case of “Gyle-Thompson vs Wallstreet Properties Ltd. 1974”.
Originally meeting in the Little Ship in the City of London, the Club met for over 28 years in the Café Royal. It was originally limited to 100 members but grew because of the pressures to provide a venue where CPD (Life Long Learning) could take place in the widest sense of the word. Junior surveyors wished to join in order to learn the skills required of a party wall professional. At that time party wall legislation, Part VI of the London Building Acts (Amendment) Act 1939, only applied in the inner London boroughs.
The name of the Club comes from the characters of Pyramus and Thisbe in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, two lovers separated by a wall and who come to a sad end as a result of the dispute between their fathers.
The Club played a pivotal role in the framing of the present Party Wall etc. Act 1996 and several members were present in the House when the Bill was introduced into the House of Lords and during the committee stages where amendments were made. The Party Wall Bill was sponsored through Parliament by John Lytton, The Earl of Lytton, and a past Chairman of the Club.
Since the 1996 Act extended the legislation to the whole of England and Wales, branch clubs have been set up around the country.
Amongst other requirements the Club insists that member surveyors —
> When acting as a Party Wall Surveyor ensure that the spirit of the Act is followed/adhered to in respect of assisting Building Owners whilst at the same time making sure the Adjoining Owner’s rights are enforced.
> Act impartially when acting as an appointed Surveyor under the Act.