The chairman of Birmingham Press Club – the oldest organisation of its kind in the world – is standing down after seven years in the role.

Former Birmingham Post assistant editor John Lamb, who is also the long-serving press and PR manager with the city’s chamber of commerce, is to leave the chairman’s seat at the end of the month.

The Press Club, which hosts popular events such as the Press Ball and the recent Midland Media Awards, is 147 years old in December.

It has hosted a string of popular lunches in recent years, with high-profile celebrity speakers including Michael Parkinson, Richard Littlejohn, Dame Anne Leslie, Sir Michael Lyons and others.

Mr Lamb said: “I have been chairman for seven years and I believe it is now time for someone younger to succeed me, although I hope to remain on the board in some capacity.

“With the media changing so much, we cannot simply rely on media membership alone – I feel we have to engage more in terms of social media. The future of the Press Club rests with liaising with the business community.

“The Press Club is a great institution and can continue to play a key role in Birmingham social and business circles. I am pleased to have instigated the concept of sponsorship through the Royal Mail in recent years – the club is now solvent.”

The Press Club was formed in 1865 when a meeting was held at Suffield’s Hotel, Union Passage, “for the purpose of establishing a club for promoting social enjoyment and literary recreation among reporters and others connected with the newspaper press of Birmingham.”

For many years the club had permanent premises at 279 Corporation Street, later moving to the Grand Hotel. But the club has been without a permanent home in recent years.