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