Contents of the Digital Edition

Introduction to the Digital Edition

Front Cover

Letter from Louis Marchesi

Title Page



Chapter 1: The First Year 1934-35

Chapter 2: From National Conference 1937, to International Conflict 1939

Chapter 3: The Ladies, 1937-39

Chapter 4: The Difficult Years, 1946-52

Chapter 5: The Developing Years, 1953-56

Chapter 6: The Second Scarborough Conference, 1956

Chapter 7: Projects, 1957-61

Chapter 8: The Third Scarborough Conference, 1962

Chapter 9: Further Projects, 1963-68

Chapter 10: International, the Three 88s

Chapter 11: Roundabout

Chapter 12: What Now?

Appendix I: Officers of the Scarborough Table

Appendix II: Members of the Scarborough Table holding National Office

Appendix III: Community Service

Appendix IV: The Area


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Chapter 10

International, the Three 88s

TABLE 88 HOLLAND is at Aalten. Table 88 France is in Monaco. The Charter Nights of these tables fell in 1963 and 1964, and it was but right and proper that Table 88 Scarborough should be represented. The following accounts are by Denis Chapman and Mick Thorpe respectively and are here presented in unexpurgated form.

In March 1963 Scarborough Round Table was invited to send representatives to Aalten for the Charter Dinner of Round Table 88 Holland.

Arnold Wilson was Chairman at that time and Mick Thorpe Secretary. A party of seven Tablers, Arnold Wilson, Mick Thorpe, John Ellender, Tom Pindar, Geoff Rhodes, Denis Chapman and Colin Sedgwick, agreed to go for one week. They were to stay two nights at Delft, a useful centre for Rotterdam and district, two nights with Aalten Tablers in their homes and two nights at Amsterdam.

Fellowship was engendered in the party prior to departure, when all decided to learn Dutch, Tom Pindar supplying the gramophone records. Some four or five evenings were spent in various Tablers’ homes and it is believed that the second record was put on the turntable at least once.

Tablers’ wives, who viewed the trip with great suspicion, agreed to drive their husbands to Hull to catch the night boat to Rotterdam. After dinner on board Mick Thorpe suggested a game of pontoon and promptly depleted the others’ stock of spending money. Everyone retired early following a question asked of Tom, ‘What’s the matter?’ Reply, ‘I think I’m getting slightly xxxx actually’. [61]

We left the boat early the next morning and had no sooner set foot on dry land than we were to witness a most serious road accident. A lorry, travelling between 20 and 30 mph. passed the bus queue we were about to join, lost its tailboard, which swung round and hit a woman standing in the queue. After this we checked into the hotel at Delft. The following day we went into Rotterdam sightseeing which we marked by lunch at the top of the Euromast, the forerunner of London’s Post Office Tower.

We had arranged to meet our hosts at Arnhem, after which we all set off in cars at high speed for Aalten, calling for dinner at Doesburg. There were 18 members of the Aalten Table, all of whom spoke English, together with their wives. Needless to say, nobody in the Scarborough Table spoke Dutch.

Eventually on arrival at Aalten we were dropped off at various Tablers’ homes. Mick Thorpe and Denis Chapman stayed with Dr. Hans Hartman and his wife Gees (Je) who had four boys, Hans 10, Burt 8, Yoop 7 and Fred 4. Denis’s and Mick’s initial meeting with their hosts was assisted by their Dutch language lessons; not that they could speak Dutch, but they found Hans and Gees had taken an identical course in English, so at least they could get a laugh out of the subject matter.

The following morning at breakfast, which in itself was an education, Fred aged 4 was to demonstrate how Europeans learn languages, by reciting the alphabet, two-times and three-times tables and colours in English, Dutch, German and French. The day was spent sightseeing, including a trip to a castle the size of Windsor, reputed to be occupied by a member of the Dutch 41 Club.

That evening was Charter Night. It was held in an hotel outside Aalten, set high up in some pinewoods at Montferland. There were about 87 present. Denis Chapman was fortunately seated next to the secretary of the Dusseldorf Table, who taught English and translated most of the speeches.

The procedure was almost identical to any English Charter Night. There was a presentation to the Burgomaster of Rotterdam, which most Dutch Tablers thought a little needless, as Burgomasters are not apparently held in as [62] high esteem as are Mayors in this country, probably because they are paid officials.

After the meal the Scarborough Tablers were invited to the top table, where they were entertained with jokes in English by some of the Dutch National Council members.

The following day Aalten Tablers insisted on driving us to Amsterdam via the Zuider Zee, or Ijsselmeer, as it had then become. We arrived in Amsterdam in time for dinner, after which the Aalten Tablers left for home and the Scarborough Tablers set about examining the night life, all but Pindar who had gone off to visit a friend! Needless to say, we saw Canal Street, and Colin was all set to buy a shop in Bar Street when we got back if he could find the right staff

The following evening Geoff Rhodes, Colin, John Ellender and Denis Chapman went to a night club where there was a floor show that Denis, unbeknown to the others, had seen before in the South of France. Table goodwill was a little fractured some 90 minutes later when he told Colin ‘they were all men’. After some moments of disbelief this was confirmed and the party left hurriedly.

The next day we left for home. Denis Chapman bought a very large bunch of carnations as a peace offering for his wife, which all on the dock at Hull claimed they could see before they could distinguish the boat.

In September 1964, an invitation was extended by R.T. 88 France for two representatives to attend their Charter celebrations. It was accepted with alacrity by Geoff Winn and Mick Thorpe, particularly as the venue was Monte Carlo, and the name of the new table ‘Round Table Monaco’. The jet flight to Nice was probably the first occasion on which Scarborough Tablers had taken to the air to attend a Table meeting.

The Charter celebrations lasted about two days. The presentation of the Charter itself was made in the afternoon in the presence of the President of R.T. France and representatives of Table from Belgium, Italy, France and R.T.B.I. At the exchange of banners, there was a particularly warm burst of applause for the Scarborough banner, and the link between the two 88s was made. [63]

The celebration banquet the same evening was a magnificent affair. Tickets were £6.10 each. The Scarborough Tablers were joined by two other English Tablers, and the Bluebell Girls who were featured in the international cabaret were all British. The following day high jinks continued at the Monte Carlo Lido, but £2 for a swim was too much for the Yorkshiremen, who splashed about privately from a free public beach.

Friendships formed during the visit were cemented two years later when two Monegasque Tablers accepted the return invitation to visit Scarborough for the Millennium Week (May 1966). Keeping us in doubt by not replying to letters, the visitors eventually arrived before they were expected, but were accommodated at the Paragon Hotel by Colin Sedgwick and looked after for the week by a variety of Scarborough Tablers.

Efforts to interest them in Community Service have not yet borne fruit; like nearly all French Tables they are solely a fellowship club, and a pretty exclusive one at that.

Scarborough Millennium Celebrations, 966-1966
The return visit mentioned by Mick Thorpe took place from the 23rd to the 28th May 1966. Raymond Saramito and Philippe Richon came to Scarborough to represent Round Table Monaco T.R.F. No. 88. The following was the programme arranged for them:
Monday, 23rd
7.45 p.m. at the Spa Orchestral Concert Halle Orchestra conducted by Sir John Barbirolli.
Tuesday, 24th
12.45 p.m. at the Victoria Hotel Scarborough Round Table Lunch Meeting. Banner Presentation.
Wednesday, 25th
3 p.m. at the Foreshore Millennium Carnival Procession.
8 p.m. at the Athletic Ground, Seamer Road Grand Military Tattoo.
Thursday, 26th
1 p.m. Terry’s Restaurant, York. York Round Table Lunch Meeting.
Afternoon sightseeing in York.
8 p.m. Queens Hotel, Micklegate, York. York Ebor Round Table Dinner Meeting. [64]
Friday, 27th
7 p.m. Meet at Pavilion Hotel for tour of forest and moors including Bickley oil rig. Fylingdales Early Warning Station and selection of English pubs.
Saturday, 28th
8 p.m. at Wykeham Grange Farm Scarborough Round Table Barbecue and Dance.

Return Visit from Aalten
A welcome 3-day visit from the Aalten Table was made in May 1964, when four of its members and their wives, Ad and Yvonne Bulten, Henk and Riek Bruins, Henk and Riek Otten and Wim and Yvonne Westerveld, were the guests of members of the Scarborough Table.

Friendships have continued and there have been subsequent visits to and from Aalten by individual members, ex-members and wives. [65]

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Chapter 8

The Third Scarborough Conference, 1962

AT THE BEGINNING of the present decade the size of the annual Round Table Conferences had grown to such proportions that there were not many towns in the country large enough to house them. Doubts were even being expressed whether Scarborough was big enough. Similar doubts have been expressed from time to time by other organisations, not excepting the larger political parties, but ‘What I said at Scarborough’, has nevertheless become part of the oratorical stock-in-trade of Prime and other Ministers irrespective of their persuasions.

As, by this time, R.T. Conferences had reached the 3,000 mark, these doubts were perhaps reasonable. Nevertheless and in spite of them, Scarborough’s reputation for first-class hospitality and entertainment, and the Table’s notoriety for the originality of its welcome, brought Conference to the town for the third time.

Aberdeen was the venue of the 1960 Conference, and to Aberdeen went five members of the Scarborough Table and their wives with the object of inviting the 1961 Conference to Scarborough. The contingent comprised Neville and Kath Gray, Geoff and Sheila Heselton, Tom and Margery Pindar, Colin and Lillian Sedgwick and Basil and Mary Young, all of whom were to play a large part in the work ahead.

‘We stayed,’ wrote Basil Young, ‘in a small hotel outside which was a large church clock. Geoff and Sheila hardly slept a wink during the four nights because of the noise when it struck the hours, halves and quarters.’

When the invitation was made, Scarborough had a competitor in Blackpool, and to Blackpool Conference went in 1961. Scarborough’s invitation was accepted for 1962 [46] and the Table, therefore, had two years to prepare for what was to be by far its largest R.T. Conference.

The Scarborough Kipper Machine
To Blackpool, too, went a large Scarborough contingent to extend the customary formal invitation and indulge in the customary informal publicity activities associated with it. It so happened that, if the Table were to participate in the 1961 Scarborough Dutch Festival, a successor to the late lamented dragon would have to be found. Here was a chance to kill two birds with one stone.

The Scarborough Kipper Machine was born. A fearful, complicated and colourful contraption, it made its way by road to Blackpool to participate in the final conference cabaret. Perhaps with memories of Torquay in mind (or, on the other hand, perhaps not) it did not fling kippers. At one end it took into its bowels the National President and at the other extruded him in kippered form. Then it came home and won a prize in the Dutch Festival.

The machine’s progress as it was towed from Scarborough to Blackpool and back is no doubt still remembered along the route. By the time it got to Leeds, where Arthur Holmes and the late John Ellender made a stop in Roundhay Park on the way back, it was surrounded by a crowd of admiring children who found themselves the richer by several real kippers, and a Yorkshire Post photographer did justice to the scene. A pleasing sequel was the subsequent presentation of a basket of fruit to Brian Gooch’s mother-in-law for allowing the erection of the machine in her back garden.

The Conference
‘In October 1960 Neville Gray was appointed Conference Chairman,’ writes Geoff Heselton, ‘with Basil Young as Secretary and a supporting committee, many of whom had had experience of the 1956 Conference. Basil then moved to Thirsk, and some reorganisation took place. Eventually Geoff Heselton became Secretary, Arnold Wilson Treasurer, and Basil Young undertook the mammoth task of Registration from his office in Thirsk.

‘Meetings were held almost weekly and an enormous organisation was built up, using all the available Scarborough Tablers and many from Area 15. It was recognised that the [47] numbers would be greater than ever before, and the Spa was brought into service. The bandstand was covered over by marquees, and the decor and presentation of the buffet supper on the Friday night had to be seen to be believed. Art students from the College of Art were enlisted to assist, and the Grand Hall was transformed by massive mobiles suspended from the roof and by many other decorations throughout the building.

‘Nothing was left to chance, and the detailed programme and instructions with which the committee coped (in addition to their normal jobs) was quite staggering. Golf competitions, children’s tea parties and a concert by Sooty, the Annual Meeting at the Futurist Theatre and quick lunches arranged at a number of cafes along the Foreshore, the Arcadia Theatre for the Ladies’ Circle Annual Meeting and separate cafes for their lunch, meeting rooms for this National Committee or that National Committee, rooms at the Public Library for informal discussions, cabaret artistes for the Ball on the Spa and the second function at the Grand Hotel.

‘Outside caterers had to be brought in to provide the meal at the Rendezvous Club, Cayton Bay, and transport also had to be laid on. At the Fancy Dress Party at the Spa both the Grand Hall and the Ballroom and every other inch of available space were in use, and the Corporation catering facilities were stretched to their limit.

‘Finally, car parking arrangements had to be made, and one of the amusing sidelights was that after it was all over, the Conference Chairman and Secretary could be seen early in the morning wearily collecting up the red lamps. Everyone else had gone and left them to it.’

Thirsk and the Conference
Basil Young’s removal to Thirsk, which took place little more than a year before the date of the Conference, had one far-reaching effect. It brought the Thirsk Table right into the front line, and in fact the Registrations, all 3.500 of them (ten times the number of 25 years earlier) were dealt with there. Jim Lister at Thirsk became Deputy Registration Officer, and eventually the members of the Thirsk Table and their wives were all involved in checking, sorting and indexing the forms. [48]

‘Then,’ writes Basil Young, ‘when tickets were printed and received, Thirsk members spent many hours in my office making up the envelopes. The hours worked by them and their wives on registration easily exceeded four figures.

‘Later they helped to man the Registration Office at the Royal Hotel during the period of the Conference. An early arrival at the Royal was Bryan Coker from Grays, Essex, who later in the Conference was elected Vice-President of R.T.B.I. He helped to set up the Registration Office, and as a result of the friendship that resulted, he visited Thirsk Charter Anniversary in November 1963 when I was Table Chairman and he was National President.

In appreciation of the tremendous assistance given by Thirsk, the Scarborough Table, at a joint meeting held later at Pickering, presented the Thirsk Table with a meeting-place plaque lest, as is most unlikely, Thirsk should ever forget the consequences of Basil Young’s removal thither.

We have hitherto looked at the Table floor shows more or less through the eyes of the beholder. Through the eyes of Michael Plows we are privileged to go back stage and see what really happened at the end of the 1962 Conference:

‘The part of the Cabaret that really sticks out in my mind was not the main Cabaret but the single item at the end of the Fancy Dress Ball. It was a fine example of how to get away with something when you never actually do anything that you intended to do in the first place.

‘The idea was to shoot an aeroplane down with a boomerang. It would then crash and the retiring National President would emerge. The rehearsals which took place at Colin Sedgwick’s went reasonably well, and a few days before the Conference all was well. The props were a little more difficult. The construction of the plane, which was not easy, went well at Brian Heaps’s and gradually took shape after a lot of experiments. The main problem was the electrics. The Table expert, Dennis Hart, conceived a plan to link batteries in series under the wing to light up the plane for a matter of seconds. Amazingly it worked, but the weight of the batteries was too much for the wing, and in any case the light wasn’t bright enough. After several evenings following [49] up this system we decided to have a spotlight.

‘The plane, which was to run down a wire, missing by inches the giant-sized roundabout hanging from the ceiling, was tested and all was well. Sound effects were recorded.

‘The time came for the Cabaret. As it was rather late in the evening all taking part had imbibed pretty well. We also hadn’t allowed for the noise and chatter in the hall. We couldn’t hear the record.

‘The natives tottered on the stage after a third of the record had played. The kangaroo hopped on as his footsteps on the record hopped off. The witch-doctor jumped on and the white hunter showed he could throw a boomerang. The plane came down; the spotlight couldn’t keep up with it, and it crashed into the side of the stage not with the explosion that was supposed to take place but with a thud that put some lights out. The witch-doctor was thrown into a tub, but in his efforts to avoid the sharp spear he was holding didn’t protect his head and was knocked unconscious.

‘What happened then is a little vague, for when I came to I was alone on the stage. I tottered off feeling very much the worse for wear. Of the rest of the Cabaret I can remember very little. Surprisingly enough, everyone thought that the whole thing was marvellous and didn’t realise what had been happening.’

We need not, however, leave the scene at this point as Michael Plows left it. The story was continued and concluded by George Ramsay in News and Views the following month:

‘From behind the wreckage emerged Pied Piper – alias National President Colin Firth. At the same time from the far end of the hall entered the Brighton Old Crock, to pick up Colin as he stood thumbing a lift in the centre of the floor. Amid fearful backfiring, and with encouraging pushes, the convoy disappeared towards Brighton 1963; and so, to the strains of Auld Lang Syne, officially ended Scarborough 1962.’ [50]

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Introduction to the Digital Edition

WE ARE ALL VERY GRATEFUL to Mick Thorpe who has very kindly loaned a copy of Scarborough 88: The Story of Scarborough Round Table 1934 to 1968 in order that we can create a digital record of this early history of Round Table in Scarborough.

The book was written by Maurice Horspool, Tabler, historian, author and, very clearly, a gifted writer. He edits the story with a light and deft touch, and a gentle humour mingled with a lot of leg-pulling.

It is 92 pages (or so) long, plus illustrations. I say ‘or so’ because, with typical editorial humour, a bound-in preface to the Index deals with a slight glitch in the page referencing.

The volume was printed and published by G A Pindar and Sons Ltd in Scarborough in 1969.

Mick tells me that he had a large number of copies made when he became National President of Round Table. During his Presidential Year (1971-72) he visited many Yorkshire Tables, and when he was offered hospitality for his visits in the form of staying at the home of a Tabler, he would include in his thanks a copy of the book for his host.

Mick has loaned one of the few remaining hard-backed copies to create this digital edition. The copies he had made to give away were softback bound. He recalls that they cost him ‘about half-a-crown each’. For reference, that is 2/6- or two shillings and sixpence, which amounts to 12.5p in the later and current decimal coinage.

I have aimed to reproduce the majority of the original copy digitally by photographing the page images. Then, using Optical Character Recognition (OCR), converting them to text. I have also attempted to reproduce it as near to exactly as it was typeset in the original. I have not over-exerted on this aspect, though, as there are some necessary compromises for the website and HTML. The main one any reader will see is that a whole chapter is on a single web page. And that any asterixed page footnotes in the original are found at the end of the relevant paragraph itself, rather than at the end of the chapter. Two of the Appendices have been scanned and reproduced as images to avoid cluttered web page tables.

Within each chapter text you will find numbers within square brackets, thus (for example): [66]. These represent the end of each page in the original and are included to help with tracing the relevant section from the original index. There is no web index, but you can use the search facility.

There is evident quality in the original’s proofreading, as there are only one or two typos that I could find and correct. Thus any error you spot in this version is mine and mine only. One of the most egregious you may find is that the OCR tended to convert ‘Tablers’ to ‘Tablets’. I hope I have corrected them all; please let me know if you do spot anything.

The reader may also need to bear in mind that the book is over 50 years old. There are changes that have occurred to humour, morals and even personalities over the intervening time. It is, nevertheless, of its time and I have, under advisement, left it the way it was written with all original content.

The illustrations are as near to their place within the text in the original as I could put them but, remember, in those days they were placed to suit the exigencies of bookbinding and not necessarily the context. I have scanned the illustrations and some other pages gently, in order not to damage Mick’s book by overly flattening the spine. Despite the equally evident quality of Messrs Pindar’s bookbinding, it is now starting to show signs of the years passing.

But, then, aren’t we all? So maybe it is appropriate, as mentioned by Maurice Horspool near the end of Chapter 11 (and thus well-overdue), to begin to collate the story of the next fifty years or so before it is lost in the mists of time. And, as we all know, Table Time is always different to that used by other mortals.

David G Henderson
May 2020, in the time of the virus

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Appendix IV

The Area

1936-7 S. D. McCloy Area 10
1951-2 W. L. Woodcock Area 15
1955-6 A. Slater
1964-5G. T. V. Pindar
1968-9 C. M. Thorpe (Vice-Chairman)

Note: Eleven Areas came into being in 1933. The North-East Coast was No. 10 with two Tables, soon becoming four: Hull, Bridlington, York and Scarborough. In 1950 the growth of the movement made it necessary to organise existing Area boundaries and to create many more Areas. No. 10 became No. 15, with the addition of an increasing number of new Tables (now totalling 16), extending up the coast from the Humber to Whitby, across to Ripon by way of Thirsk, south to Harrogate and down to Hull by way of York and Pocklington/Market Weighton.

Although this book is intended to be an account of one Table in the great network of British Tables, reference has been made from time to time to the Area of which it is part. In the Area a wider fellowship has developed beyond the confines of the Table. This has affected not only the Area but the Table itself.

In the pre-war years the Area made less impact than it was to do in the post-war years. Area Councillors were duly elected and met at infrequent intervals at convenient hostelries in East Yorkshire. Area meetings, dinners, rallies, golf tournaments and other social events were held, but in those early years most Tables were more intimately concerned with their own development and affairs and incursions into social service.

When war came, the Area was the first casualty (see Chapter 2) and from 1939 any infrequent Area business was conducted by correspondence. The next war casualty was the whole of the Area records, minute book and Chairman’s jewel. The Area Secretary, W. R. Irving, kept them at his office at Reckitts, and on the night of 5-6 May 194 they were destroyed by enemy action, together with much of Reckitts and a lot more of Hull.
Fortunately Rob Irving was on duty elsewhere at the time. [83]

Post War
On the resumption of peace the activities of the Area were largely concentrated on extension (see Chapter 5) and as new Tables formed and began to play their part it gradually became apparent that a new and closer relationship was developing between Table and Area – which is another way of saying between Table and Table within the Area – and between Area and the National body.

At this point Mick Thorpe, present Vice-Chairman of the Area and a member of the National Executive, has been prevailed upon to take up the story, an eventful story in which he has played a great part in more recent years:

* * * *

In the post-war years there began to develop an administrative side to Area affairs, and with it came a gradual awakening to the possibilities of Area as a bridge between Table and National

A significant contribution to this development was the introduction in 1960 of the Area Sales Scheme whereby National publications, badges, ties etc. were distributed through Area Sales Officers and no longer directly by National headquarters to Tables. The Publications Convener responsible for pushing the Area Sales Scheme was Colin Sedgwick. Besides providing Areas with a specific administrative function the scheme provided funds, through the 15% discount allowed to Area, which assisted the financial running of Area affairs and helped to keep down the cost of the annual contribution made to Area by Tables.

Along with many other Areas throughout R.T.B.I., Area 15 developed strongly in the fifties and sixties. Area rallies were resumed, and later the Tom Park Trophy stimulated inter-Table contests*. The more outlandish the game, the better fun for all concerned; but it was not always funny. It was at a Tom Park football match with Beverley that Brian Heaps sustained a serious injury to his wrist, and in the best traditions of closing the stable door a National Personal Accident Scheme, to insure against such mishaps, was instituted a few months later.

*This trophy, presented in 1964 by past Area Chairman Tom Park, of York, is subject to an extremely interesting set of rules. No. 2 says ‘The Trophy shall be competed for between two or more Tables in any competition that the challenging Table shall decide.’ No. 5 says ‘If the Trophy should change hands by any other means than by competition, it shall be returned to the holder at an inter-Table meeting held for that purpose.’ The word any’ in these rules permit many ingenious interpretations, which Table minds have not been how to think up.

Inter-Table visiting prospered and Tablers, seeing one another at Area meetings, had in all likelihood met already at a respective Tables. A shot in the arm was given to inter-Table visits by the presentation of a Trophy in 1968 by past Area [84] Chairman Mike Hollingbery of Hull and Humberside, to be competed for annually and to be awarded to the Table whose members had on a proportionate basis made the most inter Table visits within Area during the year. In the first year Scarborough were placed second.

By about 1964 it was found that there was not enough time available at Area dinner meetings to discuss and decide upon the increasing number of items of business channelled through Area.

The business meeting was accordingly introduced. Three or four times a year the Area Officers, together with two Councillors from each Table, met at the Talbot or the Green Man at Malton, and, fortified by pickled onions and chunks of cheese, coped with substantial agendas of Round Table business. Sometimes the stimulation of argument and the consumption of beer made the discussion extend towards midnight. However keen the argument and outspoken the criticisms there was never any rancour afterwards to upset the harmony of fellowship at the end of the meeting.

In all these growing activities Scarborough took a prominent and often a leading part. They organised the first post-war Rally at the Royal Hotel. Following subsequent visits to Bridlington, Whitby and Harrogate, the Rally returned to Scarborough, and looks like becoming a permanent fixture. Area Rallies are basically, almost exclusively, social affairs – a formal dinner and dance on Friday evening, sporting and energetic pursuits on Saturday, fancy dress party in the evening, and farewell lunch with a guest speaker on Sunday.

Scarborough Table has usually featured in the cabarets* and through its members serving on the Area Executive or Rally committees has helped to achieve a growing participation in these week-end events. Over the years Geoff Heselton, Tom Pindar, Peter Cooper and Geoff Winn, to name but a few of many, have made valuable contributions in this field.

*Not infrequently in the person of Mick Thorpe himself, whose forensic eloquence can rarely have been heard to better advantage, even in higher places.

Until 1965 the choice of Area Chairman was by tradition determined on a rota system by which each Table in turn nominated the Area Chairman, and he usually selected a Secretary and Treasurer from his own or a nearby Table. This system was supported on the principle that it gave each Table in turn an equal chance of having the honour of providing the Area Chairman from its ranks, and also that by so doing it stimulated interest in the Area within that Table. These were sound arguments when the Aren comprised only six or eight Tables, but with its growth in numbers it could not go on prospering in a system that could fortuitously prevent a member from becoming an Area Chairman during his Table career if his own Table had produced an Aren Chairman a few years earlier. [85]

Colin Sedgwick attacked the rota system with vigour both in Scarborough Table and at Area, but during his era the rota system remained. After a vigorous debate at a business meeting in November 1965 it was decided that the Area Chair should be elected by a free democratic vote of every Table in Area. Nevertheless the rota protagonists achieved an element compromise by the provision that ‘no Table shall provide Area Chairman more than once in three years.’ This compromise amendment to the Area standing orders failed to achieve the approval of National, or indeed the lasting support of the Area. In November 1968, on a proposition from Scarborough Table, this last remnant of the rota system was formally buried. Thus the arguments of Colin Sedgwick, unacceptable to the Table at the time, were eventually carried in Area five years later by the efforts of the Table to which Colin had pleaded in vain.

Area now offers possibilities in Round Table which would not be open at Table level. For example, during 1967-8 Gerry Strefford, acting as Area Community Service Liaison Officer, obtained the approval of Area to the support of a Voluntary Service Overseas student and raised the £250 necessary to send the student on a teaching project to Malaya. In the international field, also, the efforts of the International Relationships Officer, currently Peter Cooper, can weld together the minority in each Table interested in international affairs and give local Round Table an injection of the spirit of internationalism.

The most recent innovation in Area 15 has been the quarterly news sheet which grew up at Christmas 1968 into a fully-fledged printed magazine, surely the forerunner of many such issues.

Area provides the forum for the preliminary expression of a Table’s views on matters of Round Table policy or rules. A proposition by Scarborough Table to amend the classification rule to allow a Table with a membership of over 30 to include any three members from the same classification passed from Scarborough’s Membership Committee to Council, to Table and to Area Council. It was there debated and approved and was included in the National Council agenda. Although opposed at that level by the National Membership Convener and Committee, it found favour with the National Council, achieved the necessary majority and went on the agenda of the National A.G.M. at Pwllheli. It was accepted by that meeting and found a place in the National Rules – possibly the first time that Scarborough Table has achieved that distinction, if an alteration to Rules can properly be called a distinction!

In 1966 Area 32 decided that Areas should be known not on by numbers but by names, and a resolution to that effect was accepted. After suggestions had been invited and a number of possibilities discussed and discarded, the name ‘The Ridings’ was eventually adopted to indicate that Area 15 extended into all three parts of Yorkshire, to say nothing of York itself. Within [86] Area the name is not much used, but as one moves around the country one finds it increasingly common for Areas to be known names, which all have a geographical connotation and ate with a fair amount of accuracy the location of each Area.

Louis Marchesi famous words about the idea of Round Table, ‘It’s going to get bigger and bigger – it’s true, you know,’ could be applied with great accuracy to Area 15. That it has prospered, developed and become an important part in the affairs of every Table within it has been due in considerable measure to the efforts of all those who have seen in Area an extension of their enjoyment of Round Table. It is the aim of the present members of Scarborough Table, and it is hoped of their successors, that Area 15 will be in its own sphere as enjoyable, as much fun and as significant as its constituent Tables have already made it. [87]

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Appendix III

Community Service



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Appendix II

Members of the Scarborough Table holding National Office

Year ending 31st March
1955 A. J. D. Lygo National Council (until his departure for Lagos in October 1954)
1955 G. Rowbotham National Council (Deputy)
1956 P. C. A. Pedley National Council
1957-60 C. W. Sedgwick National Council
1961-63 C. W. Sedgwick National Executive*
1965-68 C. M. Thorpe National Council
1968-69 C. M. Thorpe National Executive

*References in Council minutes are sparse and succinct. One of the fullest occurs on 5th November 1962 as follows:
National Council Report. Colin Sedgwick briefly reported the goings-on in higher places’.


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Chapter 12

What Now?

HERE, AT THIS POINT IN TIME, we reach our deadline. We have followed the fortunes and policies of the Table over the past 34 years. What lies before it can be seen only in part, perhaps darkly, perhaps inaccurately. Whatever else it may be, it will certainly be interesting.

It is interesting for instance, to remember that in 1934 there was some doubt whether Scarborough, with a population of some 40,000, could turn up enough eligible material for a Table to be formed at all. In 1969, when the population of the borough (excluding suburbia) is much the same as it was in 1934, national expansionist thought inclines to the view that such a population should carry two Tables.

It is interesting, too, to reflect that the intake or ‘bulge’ of young post-war members is now at or near the end of its Table life. Already the wind of change is blowing through many Tables, for the views of the younger end do not always coincide with those of their Table seniors. This, in itself, is nothing new. What is new is the certainty of losing an exceptional number of those seniors over an exceptionally short period. With them will go certain ways of thought, and the three words of the R.T. motto will gain a greater domestic significance.

Big Business
What, perhaps, will be most interesting in the Scarborough Table, in the light of the preceding paragraph, is the long-term effect of the tremendous community service active of the past decade. Community service, particularly since the inception of the Wishing Well, has become big business. [72] The domestic problems involved are quite serious, for community service is but one of the foundations on which Round Table is built, not the only foundation nor necessarily the most important foundation. If it is allowed to dominate the fabric, some sort of instability is inevitable.

As has been mentioned earlier in these pages, fellowship is not an end in itself, nor is community service. They are mutually complementary. Should either dominate the other there are dangers. There were dangers twenty years ago, in the five immediate post-war years, when fellowship dominated everything else. Since then the pendulum has swung, with growing momentum, until it has almost reached the opposite end of its swing. Not fully, perhaps, but quite near.

Round Table was never, nor was it ever intended to be, per se, a charitable organisation. It has, however, no set terms of reference, as most charitable organisations have. It has no governing Rule or Object. Its decisions are not wantonly capricious, nevertheless, but they are governed by a curious set of factors – views, energy, ambitions and personality of successive Community Service chairmen, current Table opinion, feasibility of execution, conflicting needs, emotional feelings and Table support. It is not surprising that these can give an overall appearance of capriciousness to otherwise sound decisions.

The Wishing Well may aggravate the problem, for it has achieved what nothing else has achieved, the virtual certainty of substantial continuing annual income. Whether additional annual projects are undertaken or not, the Table has become one of the major charity-distributing organisations in the town. For a club that is not a charitable foundation there is a paradox somewhere.

It has been suggested that there is little true charity in raising money and then looking round for something to spend it on – that, in fact, this negatives the idea of community service. Community service obviously cannot be given until it has been established what service the community needs.
When a need is assessed, as has happened many times in the history of the Table, and a project is undertaken to remedy that need, then true community service is being given. As we have seen, the project may be a money-raising effort or a service-giving effort, or both. In any case, the object of [73] need comes first, and the Table in fellowship works together to fulfil it.

When, however, money-making projects are entered upon for their own sake and the Table has subsequently to look round for ways in which to spend the money, the cart has somehow changed places with the horse. The Table in its objects is neither a Carnegie Trust nor a Gulbenkian Foundation. It is a club in which it has been found over the years that community service is something, like vocational service, that has evolved from the fellowship of a membership that exists not for what it can get out of life but for what it can put into it.

The Objects
Here we may profitably have a look at the Objects of the Movement, the first five having stood from 1927 and one (No. 5) from 1933.
1 To develop the acquaintance of young men through the medium of their professional and business occupations.
2 To emphasise the fact that one’s calling offers an excellent medium of service to the community.
3 To cultivate the highest ideals in business, professional and civic traditions.
4 To recognise the worthiness of all legitimate occupations and to dignify each his own by precept and example.
5 To further the establishment of peace and goodwill in international relationships.
6 To further these objects by meetings, lectures, discussions and other activities.

Of these two are fraternal, two are ethical, one is social and one, the controversial Object 2, is vocational. We have all been brought up within their framework.

Around Object 2 there have been forty years of argument, discussion, controversy and defiance, ranging from a strict interpretation that it means what it says, to a wide interpretation that it means anything you care to read into it. In Round Table, the First 25 Years, John Creasey wrote of the first great national controversy of 1930-35, which was raging during the present editor’s early years in the Table.

The one established principle laid down by the National Organisation was that each Table must decide for itself. [74] Having said that, the leaders leaned towards the negative or vocational side, but almost certainly with their tongues in their cheeks: for everywhere Tables were doing exactly what they thought they should. They were raising money, helping this charity and that, becoming established as valuable and respected organisations within their own communities,

The Future
This typically British compromise was eminently satisfactory. It is perfectly clear today what the founders meant by Object 2, for the concept of service through vocation has made enormous and much publicised strides in the inter evening forty years, at least in some strata of the professional and industrial pyramids, but it was not so clear in the early 30’s. The Stourbridge member who said, ‘This object may be clear to the founder members, but the new recruit always wants to know what it means, and no one can ever tell him,’ was speaking for a large section of the then membership.

The National Council, prior to ceding the ground resulting in the established principle mentioned above, was exercising the caution of a movement barely five years old. ‘There is good reason to believe’, says Creasey, that its reluctance to approve of expansion in Community Service was largely due to the fear that Tables might overreach themselves by trying to do more than they should.’

This brings us straight back to Scarborough’s own domestic problem, the full effects of which may not be felt for another couple of years. It is a problem compounded of three factors:
1 A heritage of enormous community service activity, accelerating over 10 years, and often dominating other Table activities.
2 A reasonable certainty of a substantial future annual income irrespective of further Table projects.
3 A certainty of losing senior members comprising a quarter of the Table’s membership within two years. [75]

It must be emphasised that any views here expressed a those of an onlooker. It is no part of the present writer’s duty to express purely personal views, but he has inevitably had to discuss Table matters with many past and present members, and he has endeavoured to put down something of what is going on in minds other than his own.

It is a profitless exercise to attempt to look into the crystal ball, but it is a highly profitable one to face known facts, to interpret them with the wisdom that Round Table has always, and sometimes astonishingly, commanded; and to go on from there in strength. In other words:


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Chapter 11


The Secretary was authorised to inaugurate the
circulation of a weekly bulletin of Table news,
provided the cost of distribution is kept to a minimum.

– Cautious Council minute of 5th January 1953

THE FIRST CYCLOSTYLED weekly bulletin was written and published five days later by the then Secretary, Ron Horsman. So came into being what was to become yet another Table activity that has continued without a break for sixteen years, and shows no signs of old age. Within two months of its inception it wisely became a fortnightly bulletin, and so it has remained through the years. It took another eighteen months for it to receive its present name, and a further six months to achieve the dignity of a printed heading.

Every aspect of the Table’s work and play has been reflected in its columns. Programmes of events, particulars of new members and their wives, reports on local, Area and National activities, ‘profiles’ of Table members and occasional illustrations – all these things make a new sheet that, unlike much Table literature, is actually read.

Personalities have been described and discussed with varying degrees of accuracy, defamation and lubricity, but long practice had enabled members to disentangle fact from fiction, and no editor has yet found himself defending an action for libel.

The hard-working editors have so far been:
1953 Ron Horsman
1954 Philip Pedley
1955 Ron Huggins
1957 Basil Young
1959 Michael Plows [66]
1960 Mick Thorpe
1961 Steve Lee
1961 Tony Price
1962 Harold Wilson
1963 Bill Shield, Tom Pindar, Tony Price and Paul Collins
1964 Peter Cooper
1965 Tony Price (assisted by Geoff Dennis)
1966 Harold Wilson (Sub-editor, Geoff Hill; Distributor, Jeremy Woodcock)
1967 Clive Pickles
1968 Maurice Finnigan

The 200th edition was remarkable for several reasons. Published in December 1962 it embodied a commemorative front page, four foolscap pages of bulletin and miscellanea, a retrospective account of the history of the journal, five pages (duplicated on yellow paper and therefore described as a colour supplement) of ‘Ten Years of Table Highlights’ and a page of 10 portraits looking somewhat like the Police Gazette but entitled ‘Council Gallery’.

This particular edition was the 10th issue of a new editor who admitted that for various reasons he preferred to remain anonymous, ‘but had made every effort to bring Roundabout in tune with the world’s leading literature (e.g. Lady Chat., Lolita, and others) by introducing Sex with a capital S’.
No doubt this editorial policy was responsible for the following highly libellous story fathered upon a past Chairman of the Table:
The other evening in a Soho bar a rather shy friend of ours spotted a really remarkably stacked young lady drinking alone a few stools away. He moved over and sat next to her, but was embarrassed about striking up a conversation with a total stranger; so instead, when she ordered her next drink he ordered another for himself and paid for them both. She nodded her thanks, but still he could find no way to begin a conversation. This continued for nearly an hour and the consumption of four more rounds.
Finally, emboldened by the liquor and aware that the girl seemed to be getting a bit restless and might soon drift away and out of his life, he blurted out, ‘Do you ever go to bed with men?’
‘I never have before’, she said, smiling, ‘but I believe you’ve talked me into it, you clever, silver-tongued devil, you!’ [67]

It is hardly surprising that the printed heading of Roundabout bears the words, ‘Confidential – for Use of Members only’. Many tides have flowed in and out of the harbour since the day when, a quarter of a century earlier, Max Miller was pulled off the stage at the 1936 London Conference.

Roundabout is a miscellany, a fascinating picture of the Table, its personalities, its thoughts and its actions. It is subjective, not objective, and reminds us once again that all history is made by people. Earlier in these pages, for example, the chopping of wood has been mentioned, briefly and historically as one of a number of Community Service activities that do not figure in a material balance sheet. In Roundabout we see it being chopped, and who is chopping it. Whilst we may wonder, from Roundabout‘s style of journalism, how it ever got chopped at all, we are nevertheless on the site.

No. 117, 27th November 1958. One of the new ideas of the Community Service Committee for Christmas is to deliver logs and firewood to needy persons. A large amount of this has been given by Frank Judson from the buildings being demolished in St. Thomas Street. All strong men please report with axes, hatchets, meat knives and any other form of cutting implements to Alec Cusworth at County Garages on Sunday morning the 30th November at 10 a.m.
No. 118, 12th December 1958. By 10.30 ten bods were on stage and the panto began. ‘Which lot do we chop?’ Axes were flying in all directions; staircases, doors, window-frames were all reduced to splinters. In the meantime Stew (Leslie) wheeled out a dirty big mechanics’ bench and the mechanisation appeared, but before we could operate a bit of rewiring was needed at County Garage; then the thing revolved in the wrong direction, so they rewired again and at last ‘We’re off!’
Tom Bishop and Stuart Leslie were now ripping through timber and stacking large lumps ready for the choppers. By time they were cutting them the right side the saw was tired and needed a rest. Bill Ellis was sorting out all the easy ones for himself and throwing large and knotty pieces to Joe Pickup and Ken Lobb. Tony Squire and Mike Plows were using a whacking big cross cut to reduce 9 in. x 3 in. joists to handy sized logs. Then they discovered we weren’t supposed sawing them up anyway. Of course, after Alex Cusworth had shown us where everything was kept, he disappeared to bring us coffee – without flippin’ sugar. Then he had a customer, actually interested in buying a car, and all Tablers helped the sale with remarks about the roadworthiness of this vehicle.
By this time there was quite a pile of chopped wood. Colin Sedgwick was wielding a cruel looking chopper, Tony Squire [68] was showing his skill at bayonet throwing, and Bill Ellis was collecting woodworms in a matchbox.
Bagging operations began at this stage and results of the morning’s efforts could be seen. Browell was the chief stacker, and he would insist on stacking them high – 3, 4 and 5 high and all that room on the floor! (Cor blimey, Charlie Drake has nothing on this boy). Of course, when the lot collapsed he started all over again.
At 12.45 the team retired to the ‘Sun’ for a well-earned glass of wallop, well satisfied with their efforts, but alas the pile of sacks could have been higher. However, there is still one Sunday to go.

Twelve months later St. Thomas Street was still being knocked down, and the activities of the woodchoppers were again chronicled:
No. 139, 3rd December 1959. There was another good turn out on Sunday, when eleven members gathered together at County Garages as a preliminary to going across to the Sun Inn later. Over 45 sacks have been filled on the two mornings – about the limit that we can cope with for delivery.
Last Sunday disaster overtook the choppers; the rum never arrived and the coffee had to be drunk neat. Peter Dean was maestro at the electric saw, whilst John Scott swung his lethal weapon and David Dennis demonstrated how to chop a stake. Frank Browell was in trouble again; he should have known better than to keep near Stuart Leslie. Mike Plows, as usual, got in the way, Alec Cusworth was in stitches, Tom Bishop was voted chief cook and Steve Lee must take credit in filling the biggest bag. He must have been studying the man with experience of chopping – Ken Lobb. Bill Barthram arrived in time for refreshments.

Occasionally hot news makes a fleeting appearance. The following item is particularly interesting:
No. 105, 2nd April 1958. The Table Secretary received from the National Hon. Secretary on Tuesday a circular letter concerning a character who had been making a practice of calling on Round Tables and obtaining cash and clothing after trotting out a suitable sob-story. We are pleased to report that the gentleman, after visiting Basil Young’s office on Tuesday morning, was arrested by the local C.I.D.

Self-criticism is not absent. At a time when the Table was having rather more than its usual domestic differences of opinion, a contributor, after dealing with the officers and Council, writes:
No. 131, 18th June 1959. The remainder of the Table is divided into three halves (evenly). One half is permanently [69] agin everything, one half is permanently for everything, the other half, which really should not exist, is both for and agin at the same time, which is a very difficult feat, but executed by this half with skill and dexterity. Surely, then, this Table should prosper. As a cross-section of humanity it is surely the crossest.

At the time this history was being written, if there had been a complete, bound and preferably indexed collection of Roundabout in existence, the task of covering the last 15 years would have been lightened. Copies of Roundabout have come to light in the most unexpected of places, some individually, some in chronological order, and some resembling piles of paper awaiting their chips.

It is hoped that sufficient back numbers have now been found to collate a complete run. There are already more than 300 of them. As the years go on, so must Roundabout, for it must not be allowed to die.

Then, in another twenty or thirty years, when the Table decides it is about time to bring out the second volume of its history, the task of the future historian will be immeasurably eased. By then the present historian will be taking a more detached view from a vantage point not yet determined.

The editor of the 316th edition of Roundabout, in a reflective editorial, discusses some of the vicissitudes of editorship.’One is often asked,’ he says, ‘what it is like to be in the editor’s seat of power.’ His answer, I think, may well be quoted here:
As I was sitting in my chair,
I knew the bottom wasn’t there,
Nor legs nor back, but I just sat,
Ignoring little things like that.

Looking Back, by an Elder Statesman
In Roundabout 330 ex-Chairman and now President Ron Huggins (entirely without collusion with the Editor: see page 38) writes:

‘When I was in Table, and indeed subsequently when I heard of Table activities, it did seem to me that some members were becoming very intense about its activities and functions and I do think it is, therefore, most important to remember that Round Table is a spare time social [70] occupation. It is not a full-time job, nor is it a religion; it is something which it is hoped you will enjoy in your leisure hours.

‘There have been to my knowledge occasions in the past when certain members of Table have insisted that everyone should put into a particular activity, either social or community service, their whole energies, both physical and mental, to the exclusion of their family life, and indeed in some cases to the detriment of their work. This is, quite obviously, wrong. Enjoy yourselves, but do not let the quite proper ambition to make your Table the best in the country override your life.

‘I speak with some authority on this point since I am quite sure the reason for the extraordinary general meeting which distinguished my year of office was caused simply by this over-intensity of certain people who seemed to be of the opinion that Round Table, its decisions and its policies, were of paramount importance and that no other consideration should be allowed to interfere with their ambitions for Table and their decisions to implement those ambitions.

‘Please, therefore, enjoy yourselves and if you can do some good along the way for your fellow men, then jolly good, but remember that long after you have finished your connection with Round Table you will still have a very useful life to live which will not be helped if all your energies, all your interests and all your thoughts have been given exclusively to Round Table.’ [71]

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Chapter 9

Further Projects, 1963-68

APART FROM A Midnight Matinee of “The Ladykillers’ in 1963, which raised £138.11.7 for the Scarborough Council of Social Service and £46.3.11 for the Cinema Trades Benevolent Fund (accountants will notice a ratio between these figures) the first major post-conference project was the second Garden Party at Wykeham Abbey, held in 1964.

Hitherto in these pages we have relied on the memories of eyewitnesses or participants or both to give us a picture of various Table projects. This time let us trace the growth and development of a project through the pages of the Community Service minute book, starting under ‘Any Other Business’ with the initial idea and finishing with the completed project.

20th January 1964. It was suggested that consideration should be given to another event at Wykeham during 1964.
15th April 1964. Much discussion was given to a suggestion that a Garden Party and Barbecue be held in the grounds of Wykeham Abbey. It was pointed out that when this was held previously the Barbecue lost money and it was therefore proposed by D. Chapman, seconded by G. Dennis and carried that a Garden Party only be held at Wykeham Abbey, the date preferably between late June and mid-August, dependent upon the feelings of Lord Downe. It was proposed that the money raised be donated to the National Campaign for Cancer Research, subject to further information regarding administration costs which P. Fox undertook to enquire about.
Proposed M. Finnigan, seconded G. Dennis and carried, all subject to Council Approval.
20th May 1964. The Chairman, Peter Fox, reported the reaction of the Council to our proposal that a Garden Party only be held. After discussion Council asked this Committee to reconsider the question of holding a combined Garden Party and Barbecue. Reference was made to the fact that the [51] Barbecue had helped considerably in raising the sum of £450. Much discussion followed.
A date of 29th July 1964 was proposed by Dennis Hart, seconded by Paul Collins and carried. The discussion then dwelt upon which charity to support. Lord Downe, it was believed, would prefer a local charity. Alice Brooke Homes and Abbeyfield Society were two local charities suggested.
Peter Fox said he would enquire if there was any possibility of York University having a medical side as it had been su that we guarantee a sum of money annually for research into deafness,
The meeting then returned to the all-important question of whether to have a combined Barbecue and Garden Party and at 10.57 p.m. it was proposed by Dennis Hart, seconded by Geoff Dennis and carried ‘that the major annual event be a Garden Party and Barbecue at Wykeham Abbey, provided that the whole-hearted support of the Table be guaranteed. Failing that, the event should be a Garden Party only.’
23rd June 1964. The Chairman reported formally the Table’s decision to hold a Garden Party only without a Barbecue. Lord Downe had been visited and had expressed a wish that the event did not go on too late in the evening, and had offered the use of a miniature railway for giving rides to the children. Lord Downe was also endeavouring to obtain for us a Police Dog display.
It was reported that our earlier idea of furthering research into deafness was quite out of the question financially. Proposed by Fred Coopland, seconded Maurice Finnigan, it was then decided that we should support Alice Brooke Children’s Homes and other local charities.
Opening celebrity – it was decided to approach in order of preference:
Arthur Haynes, Nicholas Parsons, Dickie Henderson, Joan Regan.
Car Park: It was proposed that no charge be made for parking,
Admission: Adults 2/6. Children 6d.
Teas: To be charged separately. Stables available for use – wives and W.V.S. to organise this.
Publicity: This was left in the hands of Paul Collins and Fred Coopland.
Transport: Dennis Hart was appointed O.C. of transport.
Tents: not required.
Bar: Proposed by Harry Robson, seconded by Denis Chapman and carried on a vote that we do not have a bar.
Stalls: A list of proposed stalls using as a basis suggestions put forward at a previous meeting. (Thirty of them, ran from a cake stall to throwing crockery). Harry Robson agreed to act as organiser for all the stalls. [52]
30th June 1964. It was reported that Dickie Henderson had accepted an invitation to open the proceedings. Whether in these circumstances Joan Regan would attend was doubted by members in the theatrical ‘know’.
Police Dogs: Uncertainty existed over the presence of these animals, but it was decided to refer to them in the publicity and hope for the best.
Poster sites: Denis Chapman offered 10 poster sites in the town for publicity.
Posters: It was decided to print 200 posters, 400 car stickers in ‘dayglow’ (half with gum), 500 pseudo-summonses, 2,000 handbills and 1,000 tickets. Fred Coopland suggested the colour of the posters should be cloudy-grey-russett the colour of a mouse’s foot.
Newspaper Advertising: It was decided to spend £25 on this item and in addition to use such additional space as could be scrounged from advertisers.
Transport: Dennis Hart agreed to consult with United and Hardwicks, to lay on adequate buses to the grounds.
Car Park: The minute of the last meeting was revoked and after some discussion it was resolved to make a charge of 1/- per vehicle as a minimum.
Celebrities’ Tickets: Tickets for artists appearing at the Floral Hall would be made available to them through Geoff Baines.
Public Address System: The use of amplifying equipment was confirmed, and Nev. Gray would be invited to co-operate.
Teas: The Chairman reported that the W.V.S. had kindly agreed to provide teas, and Colin Sedgwick his equipment. Fred Coopland undertook to supply ice-cream and minerals.
Sideshows: Jobs were allocated to those members not present, and the Chairman prepared a complete list of side shows and those responsible for them.
Rain: In the event of inclement weather it was resolved to press on regardless.
Cavalcade: A publicity drive was planned for the preceding Sunday and Tuesday.

14th July 1964. It was reported that due to the lack of time the programmes and posters had to be printed announcing that Dickie Henderson would be opening the Garden Party. No reply had been received from Joan Regan as yet.
Publicity: Paul Collins stated that all Tablers had been circularised with posters, handbills and car-stickers for distribution and it was hoped that strenuous efforts would be made to sell the tickets.
Advertising: Fred Coopland informed the meeting that he had received numerous promises donating advertising space. [53] It was also reported that advertising space had been booked in the local press.
Cavalcade: Discussion took place on the possibility of having a cavalcade using cars, or alternatively using Dave Chadwick’s boat, or even towing round an old car. This was left for further investigation.
Car Notices: It was decided to proceed with these notices providing the wording was carefully thought out and that Lord Downe had no objections.
Transport: Information received from United and Wallace Arnold stating their proposals, and Dennis Hart was asked to investigate the cost of running a mini-bus from the road end to the grounds.
Public Address System: Neville Gray was unable to oblige; however, Mr. Shaw of Victoria Road was willing to do the work for the sum of £5.5. It was agreed that 2 microphones would be needed – one for Bingo.
Records: Mick Thorpe to be approached.
Stalls: Supt. Ward had agreed that Roulette would be permissible, but advised against any fruit machines.
Teas: The plan was outlined and approved, using Lord Downe’s equipment if available, Harry Robson having overall control for the food, etc.
Chairs: Geoff Dennis agreed to make enquiries regarding the possibility of borrowing these from Wykeham. Request was made for any pieces of hardboard for the stall signs, Tony Squire was asked to obtain poles; all were asked to save broken crockery and egg shells.

22nd July 1964. Publicity: It was reported that considerable space had been donated and in addition to the small advert there was to be a quarter-page advert on the Friday and a half-page on the Monday preceding the event.
Cavalcade: This was to take place on Sunday, 26th July, starting from Westwood at 7.30 p.m. All spare posters were required.
Police Dogs: This show would last approximately 20-30 minutes and will require an area of 50 yards. 5 p.m. was suggested by all as a draw for keeping people until the end.
Raffles: These were to be stationary on tables.
Food Arrangements: Harry Robson reported that these were well in hand
Collection of Furniture: Geoff Dennis reported All Saints Church had promised 12 forms, 18 tables, 25 chairs, and 50 chairs had been promised from Wykeham Village Hall and 7 or 8 tables. Queen Street Methodist Church had also number of tables and chairs they were willing to loan us.
The Rev. A. Branagan (St. Mark’s) had a number of complete side-shows and tables and chairs which he was prepared to loan. [54]
Stalls: Each member to be responsible for his own stall decorations. Help required to erect these on Tuesday, 28th.

20th October 1964. The Chairman, Peter Fox, thanked all members for their splendid effort in raising over £600 and whilst not wishing to single out individuals extended a special vote of thanks to Paul Collins and Fred Coopland for their excellent advertising which proved so successful. Furthermore, a letter had been received from Lord Downe expressing his satisfaction at the way the event had been organised.

The casual reader might be forgiven for assuming the last Minute tied up the project, but there was still much to do. At that October meeting, under the heading of ‘Spending of the £600 raised’ a detailed discussion regarding the needs of the Alice Brooke Home followed, occupying two closely written pages in the minute book. Finally:
It was proposed by Denis Chapman, seconded by Geoff Dennis and carried that a sub-committee comprising Peter Fox (Chairman), Paul Collins, John Poppleton and Jack Knowles be empowered to spend a maximum figure of £400 for the renovation, decoration and equipment of the games room of the Alice Brooke Children’s Home, Scalby Road, Newby; this sum to include the provision of toys, etc.
Proposed by Maurice Finnigan, seconded by Geoff Dennis and carried, that £200 be donated to the Abbeyfield Society to use locally at their discretion.

These resolutions were approved by the Council and by December the work was well in hand. At last, on the 23rd February 1965 it was reported that all the work had been completed and the question of an additional heater was being discussed.

These extracts from the Minute Book of the Community Service Committee relate to but one of the many major projects undertaken in recent years. We see the project, from inception to conclusion, from the inside, and we realise that work on a project does not necessarily end when the last stragglers have gone home and the stalls have been dismantled and cleared away.

The Charity Spectacular
The following year, under the chairmanship of Paul Collins, the Community Service Committee decided to stage another open-air event as their major effort. It was planned to take place at the height of the season, when the town was full of [55] resident stage celebrities who might be persuaded to make personal charity appearances or otherwise take part in the proceedings.

The Directors of the Scarborough Football Club kindly made the Seamer Road Athletic Ground available on Wednesday afternoon, 11th August 1965. The weather was fine and a large crowd turned up for Scarborough’s ‘Charity Spectacular’.

Few such events can have had such a star-studded cast. The main attraction was a football match, Show Biz XI, captained by Ronnie Carroll v. Scarborough Football Club, After an inspection of the teams by Mrs. Bessie Braddock, MP, Miss Susan Lane kicked off.

Further attractions included a display by the North Riding Police dogs. A gymnastics display by the Scarborough Y.M.C.A. was ably assisted by Jimmy Savile. The Tiller Girls, attractively turned out in rugby kit, not only entertained the crowd by their antics on the field but also sold a vast number of raffle tickets. The first prize, a Dansette record-player, was won by a holidaymaker from County Durham.

The Ippon Judo Club gave a demonstration. Freddie, the baby elephant from Kirby Misperton Zoo was a popular attraction.

The boys of the Y.M.C.A. ran an excellent balloon race and there were a number of ancillary side-shows. With the help of the W.V.S. several refreshment stalls were operated, and the small bar provided by the Table in the Directors Board Room for the hard-working celebrities and V.I.P’s was much appreciated.

Many of the celebrities then appearing in the town, including Harry Worth, Jimmy Savile, Susan Lane, Clinton Ford, the Patton Brothers and the Morton Fraser Harmonica Gang, helped by uncomplainingly giving autographs.

At the end of a fairly hectic day a net profit of £538.4.3 was available for division equally between the Scarborough Society for Mentally Handicapped Children, the Y.M.C.A. and the National Society for Cancer Relief. [56]

The Third Wykeham Abbey Garden Party and Open Day
Among the big Community Service projects mentioned in these pages it is perhaps fitting that the last and biggest should be fully reported in the 300th edition of Roundabout. Without the editor’s permission various extracts are here given.
This was the main fund-raising event for the Table year 1967-8. It was a great success due to the unflagging endeavour and enthusiasm of G. Strefford, chairman of Community Service, and also to the individual efforts of every single member of Scarborough Round Table. Purpose – to provide a mini-bus for handicapped children at Woodlands School

The new Lord Downe, who succeeded in 1965, was as gracious and helpful as his father and mother had been. He and Lady Downe not only consented to the use of the Abbey grounds, but generously agreed to open the house as well. It was to be a two-day effort, held on Saturday, and Sunday, 5th and 6th August 1967. Saturday was wet, Sunday was fine. Nevertheless on the two days over 1,700 persons attended at 6/6 per head (5/- admission to the grounds, plus 1/6 for an illustrated brochure giving admittance to the house).
Stewards, two to each room, were on duty in the house, and both Rotary and ’41 Club gave admirable support. Tea and refreshments were provided in the stable yard by H. Robson and the W.V.S.
Six sideshows were operated in the grounds and also a balloon race. The cake stall, thanks to the great persuasive talents of the Tablers’ wives who obtained supplies from innumerable relatives, was the most lucrative of the stalls, making £70 clear.
In spite of a disappointing attendance on Saturday, a total figure of £432 was taken at the gate and £130 for admission to the house.

The result was a net profit of £744.8.8, a record for the Table, and it more than covered the cost of a Bedford Dormobile. It is interesting to note that in the course of John Mitchell’s advertising campaign, use was made of the now defunct pirate Radio 270. It was felt that Granada T.V. at £40 for seven seconds or £56 for fifteen seconds was a trifle too expensive. [57]

Black and White Cricket Match and Fete
Once again, on 18th August 1968, the Black and White Minstrels, again playing at the Futurist Theatre, took part in a ‘Sporting Spectacular’ organised by the Table in aid of the fund for those suffering from cystic fibrosis. Held in the grounds of Bramcote School, the main event was a cricket match, Scarborough Round Table v. The Black and White Minstrels, 1 1/2 hours per innings. As every six to be scored was sponsored to the extent of some £10, lively play was ensured.

During the interval it was announced that Kanga (John) Priestley and Wogga (Chris) Thompson would demonstrate ‘for the very first time in Scarborough’, their remarkable talents with ‘real Australian boomerangs’. Side-shows did continuous business, and the Mitchell Maids and T.V.
Toppers sold great quantities of raffle tickets for a cricket bat autographed by the entire Minstrel cast.

Roundabout, in congratulating Gerry Strefford for organising the event, adds that he would have been stumped without John Mitchell, who organised Gerry.

The Table batted first and were all out for 141 (including 3 sixes). The Minstrels passed the Table’s total for the loss of 5 wickets (Alan Hampshire 105) and hit a further 5 sixes, with consequent profit to the fund.

In all, the event yielded a net profit of over £350, in spite of rainfall half way through the afternoon.

The Wishing Well
The last project to be mentioned in these pages is one that is likely to continue, public psychology being what it is, for a long time.

Rooted firmly in the animistic beliefs of primitive man, who felt it necessary or prudent to placate the spirits that dwelt in natural features and phenomena, especially water, is the ‘good-luck’ custom of throwing coins of low denomination from the Forth Bridge into the firth below.

Rivers, torrents, lakes and the sea have demanded their tribute for many centuries. Thus the throwing of pennies into fountains, and the making of associated wishes, are no [58] new phenomena, as the Romans well knew, and when ‘Three Coins in a Fountain’ was filmed some years ago the mania for dropping loose change into water became some thing of an epidemic.

The same principle, fortunately for Round Table, applies to wells. How the Scarborough Table ensured that a well should be provided for the purpose is told by Brian Heaps:

‘In August 1966. when Community Service Committee were faced with a deficit of £25, a minute appears, “That it is time Table could rely on some continuous source of income for its C.S. projects”, and it is in this minute that the origin of the Wishing Well can be found.

‘Peter Cooper, Table Chairman in that year, had just returned from a holiday in the Lakes. He was certain that the answer to our problem was to be found in a wishing well similar to that at Windermere from which the Windermere Table was having outstanding success.

‘The idea was received with enthusiasm, and at that meeting it was little realised that it would not become reality for some 20 months, or that it would create almost a political issue in the chambers of local government.

‘The siting and plans were of paramount importance, and the latter were entrusted to our own Table architect, Paul Collins. It was agreed that the best site and setting would be Peasholm Park, most popular for the holiday crowds, and it was this decision that nearly wrecked the scheme. The desired site lay on Corporation land.

‘Looking back, it is difficult to understand why the Town Hall found so much opposition to both idea and site. Nevertheless, plans were prepared and submitted. The official wheels ground slowly and reluctantly as the months went by. At last, on 5th August 1967, the project was approved by one vote.

The tender of £400 by A. W. Sinclair & Sons Ltd. was accepted, and construction began in March 1968. A dance held that month at the Scene One discotheque raised £103 which, together with the proceeds of the annual carol singing and jumble sale, gave us over £300 towards the cost.

‘The following month the well was completed and ready for its official opening. The 10th April dawned clear and sunny, and at 3 p.m., in the presence of representatives of [59] the Borough Council, Rotary Club, 41 Club, Lions Club and the press, the well was ‘opened’ by the Mayor of Scarborough
ex-Table Chairman Ernie (Don’t ‘ee worry) Pilgrim. The ringing of the bell by the first coins to be thrown in made sweet music.

‘There is no doubt that the Wishing Well is the most profitable venture undertaken by the Table. In the 1968 season it took into its depths coins totalling over £900. It is to be hoped that their collection, washing, drying and counting will continue for many years’.

Wishing Week
Concurrently with the establishment of the well an annual Wishing Week was envisaged, during which individual wishes were to be invited from the public. The first of these weeks took place at the end of 1968.

Some 70 wishes were received, surprisingly few for a town with a population of over 40,000. Many of them were not for personal benefit, but for the fulfilment of someone else’s needs. There were wishes from organisations as well as from individuals for transport of elderly, handicapped, sick and lonely people to see friends and relatives, locally and in other towns, to make hospital visits, and even just ‘to have a drive in a car’. There were wishes from the elderly or incapacitated for help in cutting hedges, tidying gardens, decorating, and digging potatoes. Several wishes were for full-time or part-time employment, others for equipment to assist the physically handicapped in the working of their own homes.

Owing to the timing of Wishing Week there were inevitable ‘Father Christmas’ wishes ranging from toys for children and grandchildren, Christmas cheer and fuel for the elderly and sick, to refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, bicycles, radios, T.V. sets and a bottle of whisky. The largest wish came from the W.V.S. for a new mini-van for their meals-on-wheels service.

All wishes were passed for investigation to members of the Table, each of whom was given details of two or three cases for him to visit and report upon. It would be interesting to know the outcome of one instruction to visit a certain lady ‘re wish for husband with bad leg’. [60]

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