Adopt, adapt, im­prove – in­deed

It has raised about £500,000 in 50 years and is in­volved in events from fire­works to mu­sic fes­ti­vals. Jo-Anne Rowney speaks to Bea­cons­field Round Ta­ble chair­man John Read about the club’s an­niver­sary, why peo­ple should join and what the group does

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - LIFE & LEISURE -

W

EHAVE all seen the dart­board logo, whether we as­so­ciate it with The Round Ta­ble or not. The sym­bol is a pic­to­rial re­pro­duc­tion the Arthurian legend, but the logo’s an­ces­try has lit­tle to do with the group it rep­re­sents.

In fact the name has noth­ing to do with noble knights and ev­ery­thing to do with a fa­mous speech by the Prince of Wales in 1927.

Speak­ing at the Bri­tish In­dus­tries Fair, he at­tempted to rally to­gether the men of Eng­land.

“The young business and pro­fes­sional men of this coun­try must get to­gether round the ta­ble,” he said. “Adopt meth­ods that have proved so sound in the past, adapt them to the chang­ing needs of the times and wher­ever pos­si­ble, im­prove them.”

Adopt, adapt, im­prove be­came key facets of the Round Ta­ble, in­spir­ing it to take on the name.

The Bea­cons­field branch is hop­ing to re­mind peo­ple of its val­ues, as it cel­e­brates 50 years.

Chair­man John Read said: “The Bea­cons­field group was an off­shoot of another group, from Ger­rards Cross. They started in 1963 but you have to wait a year to get char­tered.”

The ac­tual an­niver­sary – if the char­ter is used – was Septem­ber 1, 2014, but the group has been cel­e­brat­ing through­out the year.

A party was held re­cently for mem­bers past and present, with guests in­clud­ing top busi­ness­men, direc­tors and peo­ple from ‘ev­ery walk of life’, ac­cord­ing to Mr Read.

The event raised £2,000 for the Alexan­der Jan­sons Foun­da­tion.

Dur­ing the past 50 years the group has raised about £500,000 – quite a feat for a group that has re­duced from 40 to 50 mem­bers to about 12.

“It’s amaz­ing how much we have raised. We are a regis­tered char­ity, but we raise funds and then give money to wor­thy causes.”

The group gives support to or­gan­i­sa­tions, char­i­ties and in­di­vid­u­als that meet the Round Ta­ble cri­te­ria.

“We also help other groups hold events. We helped with KnotFest, pro­vid­ing equip­ment, and we help with the Stretcher Race on the bank hol­i­day in Bea­cons­field. We also run the fire­works for the town.”

The Round Ta­ble is open to any man un­der 45; there is a part­ner group called 41 Club for those who are older.

The ap­peal, ac­cord­ing to Mr Read, is the group’s in­te­gra­tion into the com­mu­nity.

“You get a chance to get in­volved with things you wouldn’t oth­er­wise. Like the Stretcher Race, help­ing peo­ple race around in fancy dress – it’s good fun. We also get to see the good work.

“There was a girl who we con­trib­uted to buy­ing a wheel­chair for and she is now play­ing wheel­chair bas­ket­ball and on the Bri­tish team.

“Then we also helped with Dor­cas, a char­ity in Wy­combe which pro­vides uni­forms for chil­dren whose fam­i­lies can­not af­ford to buy them.”

The Round Ta­ble plans to con­tinue its good work, but Mr Read said new mem­bers are al­ways wel­come.

“As with most groups, we would like more mem­bers; in a town like Bea­cons­field it can be hard. Peo­ple ei­ther work here and don’t live here, or live here but are away for work. I’d say join­ing up gets you more in­volved in the com­mu­nity. Peo­ple who are their late twen­ties and thir­ties, set­tling down, tend to join.”

To find out more, visit Bea­cons­field Round Ta­ble on Face­book.

For tick­ets to this year’s fire­works, visit www.bea­cons­field­fire­works.co.uk.

For a full list of fire­work events, pick up next week’s news­pa­per for our round-up.

Con­trib­uted pho­tos

Bea­cons­field Round Ta­ble runs the town’s fire­work dis­play, pro­vides equip­ment for KnotFest, above, and helps with the bank hol­i­day Stretcher Race, right

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