Mick Thorpe, National President, RTBI, 1971-72

Mick’s wife, Sheila, recalls some of the memories and their photographs of Mick when he became President of Round Table Britain and Ireland (RTBI).

It was Colin Sedgwick who persuaded Mick to continue his interest in Round Table by going out from Scarborough onto national committees. This was both interesting and rewarding. Mick had busy Table years in office of some kind or other from 1965 until he was Past President of RTBI in 1973.

Becoming Scarborough Round Table 88 Chairman was a continuation of the fellowship and community service that Mick had enjoyed for some years before as was getting the History book written. Mick cannot remember particular events but, along with John Priestley and others about this time, some amusing films were made with various Tablers taking part.

There were many highlights during Mick’s years as Vice President and then President of Round Table in the UK (RTBI). He visited so many Tables during those two years. At least two to three a week. Mick met so many interesting people and had tremendous hospitality. I was often with him at weekends.

There was a lot of support by Table people offering to drive him to events.

One highlight was the trip a President was allowed to take abroad visiting overseas Tables. Mick took me with him (he had to pay for me) and we were lucky in that the WOCO conference in 1971 was in Melbourne Australia. From there we visited clubs in the outback and then on to New Zealand, Hong Kong, India (Kalkota and Mumbai), Mauritius and South Africa. Again the Tablers we met put on good meetings for us. (And Geoff and Jenny Winn drove us to Heathrow for our plane! That was good fellowship.)

Whilst in Kokata we went to a refugee camp where we gave out sewing machines to the people to help them begin working and trading amongst themselves. The refugees were so happy to get those gifts.  The conditions were the same you see these days on TV.

We had a meeting with Tablers at La Baule in France. Mick’s idea of a football match between France and UK took place. It was great sport with RTBI losing at half time but, after dressing room talk, we came out the winners by 5 – 1. Supposed to be fun but of course it was serious.   

Another event (not anticipated) was that at very short notice the National AGM meeting for 1972 had to be moved from Dublin because of a terrorist bomb. Birmingham took it on and, with help from the Dubliners (it was hard work organising), but it was a success.

All Round Table from start to finish was an interesting and memorable time. Mick still is in touch with people at home and abroad. It was his life for many years.

Sheila Thorpe
June 2020

Left to right: David Roberts, Secretary, Area 22, not named, Geoff Aldridge, Chairman Area 22, Tony Berry, Vice Chairman Area 22, Mick, Gerry Knowles, Chairman Area 40, Howard Dell, Chairman Area 5, Nigel Taylor, Chairman Area 8, John Parker, Chairman Area 35, Royle ? S, Vice Chairman Area 5

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