Bridge Builders

1950 - 1951
1951 - 1952
1952 - 1953
1953 - 1954
1954 - 1955
1955 - 1956
1956 - 1957
1957 - 1958
1958 - 1959
1959 - 1960
1960 - 1961

1961 - 1962
1962 - 1963
1963 - 1964
1964 - 1965
1965 - 1966
1966 - 1967
1967 - 1968
1968 - 1959
1969 - 1970
1970 - 1971

1971 - 1972
1972 - 1973
1973 - 1974
1974 - 1975
1975 - 1976
1976 - 1977
1977 - 1978
1978 - 1979
1979 - 1960
1980 - 1981




HBRT Badge

Reflections of the

Bridge Builders

Spanning the 50 years

1951 – 2001

plus several from the last decade.

Soon to be updated to 2011

1981 - 1982
1982 - 1983
1983 - 1984
1984 - 1985
1985 - 1986
1986 - 1987
1987 - 1988
1988 - 1989
1989 - 1980
1990 - 1991

1991 - 1992
1992 - 1993
1993 - 1994
1994 - 1995
1995 - 1996
1996 - 1997
1997 - 1998
1998 - 1999
1999 - 2000
2000 - 2001

2002 - 2003
2005 - 2006
2006 - 2007


Early in 1950, Halifax Round Table decided to establish a new Round Table in Hebden Bridge. A preliminary meeting was, therefore, arranged at the Albert Hotel under their sponsorship. Several meetings were held before there was any certainty that a nucleus adequate for Hebden Bridge Round Table would be established.
There was, never-the-less, an opportunity for such an organisation at that time. Many young men had returned from the 1939–45 war, several had married during it or shortly afterwards. The intervening years had seen them re-established in business and home life and they were beginning to look around for some organisation for young men of their own age and interests with some form of service in view. The aims and objects of Round Table seemed designed to offer what was required.


As we reflect through these golden years of fellowship the loss of some of our friends and founder members holds a special place in our memories.
Their contribution and commitment throughout the years has made Hebden Bridge and District Round Table 294 an exceptional Table for us all.

This booklet was published for the 40th Charter, and was updated for the 50th Charter.

1950 – 1951 FRANK ROBSON

I was the founder Chairman, and attended all the preliminary meetings. Early speakers were drawn from Round Tables of the Area describing their experiences in the formation and development of recently formed Clubs. The International nature of Round Table was also illustrated by reports from Tablers who had attended conferences abroad.
It is understandable that the initial momentum was slow in developing because the early months were concerned with the recruitment of members, the drafting of notes and the consolidation of newly formed friendships. It was clear from the outset, however, that a very happy Table was emerging.
The first Annual Dinner Dance, held on 4th May 1951, made a profit of £3/2/-

1951 – 1952 FRANK WALTON

This year saw the development of ideas which had previously been considered. Seats were erected in Hardcastle Crags. A successful ‘Brain Trust’ under the title ‘We Beg to Differ’ was arranged with Hebden Bridge Business and Professional Women’s Club. Progress in the Area Debating Competition was short lived, though we had more success in the Cricket Competition in which we were able to find a very competent team.
We also entered a Car Rally organised by Keighley Table in which Tabler D. Astin won first prize. We arranged a party for underprivileged children from the profits of a jumble sale.


A year to remember, the year of the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the installation as Chairman of Round Table No.294 of a most unlikely person, even that was by proxy when Eric Dale ‘stood in’ or perhaps a better phrase would be ‘sat in’ on my behalf.
In spite of everything the Table survived, I enjoyed it, I hope my Table mates did.

1953 – 1954 ERIC H. DALE

During this year we bought a Billiard Table for the Bingham Youth Centre and erected further seats at Hardcastle Crags.
We also arranged a Circus outing for children who had made the best years progress at School, though there was outside criticism on the basis of selection. We also reached the Semi-final in the Area Cricket, but were less successful in the Debating Competition. Membership had now reached 20. Speakers were drawn largely from the Calder Valley Area and covered a wide range of subjects from’ Antibiotics’ to ‘Life in the Canadian Mountains’.

1954 – 1955 WILL G. LORD

The Minutes of my Year as Chairman make very interesting reading – for me, but to Tablers they will probably be records of events, which took place with slight variations year after year. Community Service, Social Activities, Speakers at Meetings etc., all rather ordinary of course, but we were laying the foundations for the high regard in which the Round Table is held in Hebden Bridge.
There were one or two more unusual aspects however. My admirers (?) thought I had rather a thing about keeping down the costs of Round Table to Tablers. It was true, I took very much to heart a speech by John Thorne, National Chairman, who appealed for the COMPULSORY cost of Round Table to Tablers to be kept as low as reasonably possible. That was why we tried to stop the Area Dinner being ‘Dinner Jackets’ – several of our members hadn’t one and couldn’t afford one.
I read that two Tables sent us letters requesting donations to THEIR Community Service Funds – we soon saw them off. We put a seat at the top of the steps at Fairfield on railway property, and went to a lot of trouble trying to get the rent charged by British Railways for the seat to be reduced from the exorbitant figure of 5/- per year. They wouldn’t.
There isn’t a record of our annual subscription but it can be safely assumed that Harry Jagger wouldn’t dare suggest an increase during my year!
Our Annual outing with Ladies’ Circle was to a Dinner Dance at Ilkley and an International Rugby League team were staying in the Hotel. Betty told me towards the end of the evening that she’d had two or three enquiries from the Rugby League huskies as to where she was going after the dance – she was quite pleased about it until we found that all the other Round Tablers’ wives had received similar suggestive approaches.
Probably the outstanding event of the year was that we worked very hard in founding the Todmorden Round Table and I believe I took the chair at their Inaugural Meeting.
Yes, on the whole, an average year for Hebden Bridge and District Round Table – which means it was very good indeed.

1955 – 1956 JOHN DUCKWORTH

Membership of Round Table often shows you that people have hidden qualities and undeveloped talents, and then some! I do not refer here to that enthusiastic Tabler who not only sold jumble at the Jumble Sale, he sold some of the Civic Hall fittings as well! For who would have thought the local council owned two clothes props? Nor do I refer to the still undetected person who broke the toilet at Clay’s Café. It became necessary after these two episodes to insure more thoroughly against further acts of God.
The hidden, undeveloped talents? In this year of 1955 – 1956, a quiet and hesitant George Whittaker joined the Table. That, with Iris hidden quietly in the background, was certainly undeveloped potential. None of us would now fail to acknowledge their consequent contributions to Round Table. Tom Crabtree too, now known with comradely feeling over a wide area, was making representation for us for the first time outside the valley.
Inside our small membership, which is still little changed from the original, we enjoyed immensely the developed links between us. We had become lumberjacks and seat makers in Hardcastle Crags – developing muscles and thirsts. A Wendy-Hut, for the children of Fielden Hospital to play in, was built. Preservation of the environment was an unknown phrase to us, but Lumb Bridge was saved by physical effort, and no doubt future rheumatism, from irretrievable collapse. Tribute to Keith Hammer must link him with this project.
Failures there were too. How, for example could you expect to win an Area Debate of Round Table by opposing a motion ‘The Public House has done more for this country than the Public School’? My failure, as Chairman, to carry my one and only proposal was a lucky escape at my first meeting of the year. We were saved by its rejection from involvement in the politics of Salisbury.
We knew so little of the personalities behind the faces of our early fellow Tablers. Doubtless to most, I would appear a starchy schoolteacher. So my best moment occurred at a ‘record night’ .I introduced my record as a ‘high quality classic in music which would reveal the genius of the composer’. The music began, and five seconds later swelled from quiet chords to a strident ‘One Meat Ball’.
They were seconds of delight in a year of great enjoyment.


A year of consolidation with one new member, Kenneth Lord. We started the year and ended it with the same number and the same attendance. My most memorable meeting was a wine tasting by Harvey’s Bristol Cream: a rosy glow permeated the entire proceedings.
Todmorden Round Table had finally been launched.
As extension officer for Hebden Bridge Round Table my bedmate had been Todmorden Round Table, a most exhaustive exercise in a town’s non co-operation. A nucleus of enthusiast’s – an enthusiast of one as it transpired – after I had been given the onerous duty of extending the theories, the practicalities, the excitements of Round Table up the valley. By pounding the typewriter, the help of Halifax Round Table, and the zeal of the Hebden Bridge Committee exhorting me to try again, we did launch Todmorden in the true path of enlightenment and it is good to see Todmorden Round Table flourish.
Round Table is many things to many men, but Round Table is hard work for everybody who stays the pace.

1957 – 1958 DOUGLAS W. ASTIN

To look back 15 years to when one was a mere stripling of 37 is a nostalgic experience. Names which are sometimes difficult to recall and put faces to, crop up, and it is only by reading through the year’s activities that these slot into place.
The year was an extremely busy one in all aspects of Round Table, in the field of Community Service much toil and sweat (frequently replaced by crates of ale from the Blue Pig) went into the project at Hardcastle Crags. Local children were entertained at a Bradford Panto, and Bradford children visited Hebden Bridge. Christmas parcels of food and sacks of fuel distributed, and Fielden Hospital received the usual donation of toys and clothing.
The Flood Relief Scheme, happily no longer necessary was inaugurated, and other contributions, again with the accent on labour and time rather than cash occupied Table’s attention. I wonder if the seat at Fairfield is still in existence?
Socially too, a very full and varied year. Our annual P.U. at the Fishermen’s Arms Ainsdale, disguised under the name of an outing to Southport with wives and families. Inaugural and Charter celebrations, Area Rally etc., and a Dinner Dance at a then famous eating place for the prodigious sum (we thought) of 18/6.
The calendar of meeting nights was filled with interesting speakers and visits to works.
Hebden Bridge Round Table was I believe in good shape, with a high attendance record of 5 new members elected during the year. All being men of high calibre, and who during the years that followed proved to be most excellent Tablers.
I handed over to my successor P W Sutcliffe in the certain knowledge that 294 would go from strength to strength and I am proud of the fact that I was one of its members and had the privilege of being its Chairman.

1958 – 1959 PETER W. SUTCLIFFE

Being a founder member, it was a great honour to serve as Chairman and although nothing really exciting took place during this period, a lot of work was carried out by all the members.
At the first meeting, I had the very pleasant duty of welcoming three new members. During the year we did however lose two members who took up posts outside the district.
Having attended most of the 167 meetings prior to be coming Chairman, it was pleasing to note at the end of my year of office that the percentage attendance of members was extremely high reaching 89.86% at one period and during most of this period, the attendances at the Hebden Bridge & District Round Table were in first second or third place in the Area.
Of the notable events of the year was a visit by Mr Hugh Lesley from Tanga Round Table No.6, in Tanganyika, who presented us with a banner. We also had two visits by our Area Chairman and were pleased that Tom Crabtree was elected Area Community Service Officer.
This was the year when we were known as the ‘cloth cap and corduroy’ Round Table, due to our persistence in recording our objections to Area Functions, particularly the Area Dinner, being formal dress. At the Area Meeting, however, we were brought into line due to the fact that our resolution was defeated and at the next Area Dinner we all had to be suitably clothed.
Our success in the debating and cricket competitions were very short lived during this year.
During the year, the Community Service Committee reported that the log shelter sited between the lodge gates and Gibson Mill at Hardcastle Crags was completed and a wooden plaque was obtained by George Whittaker for fixing to this shelter. Very good use has been made of this log shelter by the local inhabitants and visitors to Hebden Bridge, some of the uses not being just in accordance with the original conception.
I was certainly very pleased and proud to serve during this year.


In November 1959, Table organised its first Bonfire. It commenced from a spark of an idea by Peter Marshall and was kindled by the spirit of the Tablers in organising the supplies of wood and the building of the Bonfire. We did the catering ourselves with 1500 chops, 4000 sausages and bread rolls, parkin, plot toffee, coffee and minerals. There was also dancing and a firework display, as well as a raffle and treasure hunt.
It created fellowship and satisfaction in raising £309 for the World Refugee Year appeal. We gained expertise in catering which we did at a Gala on Calder Holmes raising a further £130 for this appeal.
50 children from Bradford were entertained at Hardcastle Crags in conjunction with Bradford Table who reciprocated by taking 20 local underprivileged children to a pantomime.
Logs and food parcels were distributed to deserving people at Christmas. Bulbs were planted in Hardcastle Crags.
During the year working together as a team strengthened the spirit and fellowship in Table.

1960 – 1961 HARRY JAGGER

An enthusiastic Table was still growing with four new members admitted during the year. As Chairman I always found satisfaction in welcoming a new member in the hope that both he and the Club would benefit from the new links of friendship which were being formed.
My year saw a continuation of the many activities and projects which were introduced in earlier years and which, I feel, stem from a healthy and enthusiastic Table. All committees entered into full participation to give a balanced programme of social and community events, and whilst we were defeated in the first round of the Quiz we were top of Area for attendance.
Two events come easily to my mind, each in its own way having given pleasure to me and I am sure, to all members of the Table in support of a Holiday Scheme initiated by Whitby Table we arranged for a deserving couple to spend a week at Whitby in May 1961. Choice of a suitable and truly deserving couple was not easy but eventually Mr and Mrs Charles Chambers of Colden were able to accept our invitation and upon their return, to hear them tell of the wonderful holiday which had been made available to them was itself sufficient justification of our decision to support the Scheme. The second event, and without doubt the highlight of my year, was the Area 9 Dinner which Hebden Bridge was privileged to organise for the first time in our short history in Round Table.
The members entered wholeheartedly into the preparations and as Area Councillor for that year, James Greenwood gave unstintingly of his time in co-ordinating all the arrangements to present not only a first class Area Function but also a wonderful 40th birthday celebration for Area Chairman Fred Maden – I know that Fred treasures happy memories of that night.
My final reflection and this time a little more critical comes from reading through the Minutes and seeing repeatedly the names of regular visitors to our meetings, I do wonder if Club policy of giving prospective members a very long run as visitors before acceptance into membership was perhaps unduly cautious, however well intended.

1961 – 1962 TOM CRABTREE

I suppose every Chairman thinks his is a vintage year and looking back, mine holds many happy memories. As the changeover date was altered – or at least that was the excuse they gave me – mine was a short year, but it lacked nothing because of this.
The outstanding memories are or the First Annual Ball held on my birthday which was an outstanding success mainly due to the able organisation of Bernard. He must be an old man by now.
The Bonfire and Barbecue – the second held – was another great success and we were for the first time using our ‘Do It Yourself Floor’. I recall the bonfire was very damp and in our anxiety gallons and gallons of fuel were poured on be zealous Tablers. On consideration great anxiety was felt about the blastoff and it was decided that the Table Chairman should ‘volunteer’ to take the torch from the Council Chairman to actually light it. Table Chairman being more expendable!
Also in this year we made a special occasion of our 250th Meeting at the White Lion when almost all our past members and our Area Chairman Derek Garside were present. A very enjoyable get-together.
Another very popular meeting was the visit of Harvey’s of Bristol, although I notice on this occasion our normally exemplary secretary failed to record the numbers present. Rumour has it that after twelve recounts he was heard to mutter ‘Well there’sh a bloody lot here anyway’.
In conclusion my lasting memory of the Round Table and of 294 in particular will always be of the vital fellowship which pervaded everything that we did and made the year of office such a happy and memorable one.


Being a founder member, it was my greatest hope that I would be able to hold the office of Chairman and this hope was fulfilled in April 1962, when my very good friend Tom Crabtree handed over to me the chain of office.
My thoughts at that lime were somewhat mixed as I knew that I had an extremely hard task in front of me when I reviewed the past Chairman’s year.
However, on looking back I believe this was a successful and happy year. Tablers were extremely busy both on Community Service work and socially.
We carried out renovations and repairs to the Wendy-Hut at Stansfield View Hospital and also renovated and repainted the St John Ambulance Brigade Headquarters.
One of my first pleasures as Chairman was to hand over a Table Tennis set to the children of Fielden Hospital.
On the social side, many events were held and looking back I remember the second Annual Ball, which was held in the Co-operative Hall. Two days prior to this event the boiler burst and we had a lot of heartaches before we located calor gas heaters which at least took the chill away and helped to make the event a success.
The Annual General Meeting of Tablers was held in Scarborough that year and a large number of Tablers and wives spent the weekend in Scarborough and at the Saturday Fancy Dress Ball were dressed as Robin Hood and his Merry Men. This created interest and in fact a photograph of us all appeared in the News and Views.
Towards the end of my year of office, over a pint of beer, 1 was talking with two Tablers who shall not be named but will be called Fred and Bernard. It was over this drink that it was decided that it would be very nice to hold Chairman’s Evening. The object being that only members and past members of Hebden Bridge and District Round Table, with their ladies, be invited to attend. It proved to be very successful and as all Tablers know, the Chairman’s Evening has been held every year since.

1963 – 1964 KEITH HAMER

The 275th meeting on 10th April 1963 saw Keith Hamer in the chair and Keith’s professional association with the Law began to manifest itself at once when the first speaker of the year was announced as a member of the East Riding Constabulary of no less rank than Inspector. The advantage of choosing a lawyer as our Chairman was soon to be revealed when a haulage contractor presented an account not only for transporting our ‘portable’ dance floor to Luton Rugby Club (to whom it was on hire) but also for bringing it back again – how was he to know that the majority of Tablers who had ever lifted the floor on and off a wagon didn’t want the damned thing back? The account was at once in dispute, the battle commenced and only a judiciously worded letter from Keith enabled us to settle for a cut price transport job and the ‘portable’ dance floor was still with us to torment future generations of Tablers.
Table’s casual admiration for their Chairman’s legal prowess was transformed into sheer idolatry when, some months later, we were threatened with a writ by a Hotel for the cost of our Ladies’ Evening Dinner Dance which we had cancelled due to the management’s last minute unwillingness to provide anything other than a set menu in an upstairs room (ten minutes walk from the ballroom) from which we could have heard the band only on a clear day with the wind in the North East. Once again our Chairman wielded his pen mightily and won the day. By now our affinity with the law was absolute and meeting No.287 saw Table being treated to a ‘History of the Police Force’ by an up and coming Police Sergeant (who subsequently received rapid promotion to Inspector through no fault of ours) whilst Tablers listened silently meditating possible tribulation which lay ahead.
Tribulations there were in plenty, but only in the shape of grovelling down a coal mine; dancing in the open air in mid June, 1,000 feet above sea level, with midges down your trousers and a cold breeze up your jumper, coupled with an immovable determination to get your fourteen bobsworth of pre-breatherliser ale; decorating prefabs and the many other experiences which make up Table life, a climate of experiences in which Hebden Bridge and District Round Tablers evidently thrived, for throughout Keith’s year we topped the Area 9 attendance returns (who said they were fiddled?).

1964 – 1965 JIM WIGNALL

For the first two bonfires on Calder Holmes I saw nothing of the fire, fireworks, sideshows, barbecue and even more importantly, the ale van! On the first occasion I made the mistake of volunteering to stand in for a sick Treasurer, and on the second I had no choice – I was the Treasurer! Having spent each of those evenings trapped in a small caravan for six hours receiving takings from 10 different sources and trying to keep them all separate, handing out change to impatient cashiers and de-onionising coins before bagging them for the bank, when it came to the 1964 Bonfire I appreciated having the ‘Freedom of Calder Holmes’ conferred upon me. I actually enjoyed my duties on that occasion. Not only did I see the fire and sample the barbecue but I even managed an odd glass of something!
Perhaps the most embarrassing moment of my year was when, as ‘Captain of SS Camelot’ sitting at the top table flanked by our honoured guests we were the last group to be served with wine, and only then after I had made a trip to the bar to collect it myself! However, once on the table (yes, it was on the table!) and the wine flowed freely, a bad start was soon forgotten. Thanks to a good crew who put in a lot of hard work before the evening, we all had a wonderful time. Even Maurice who got rather damp when ‘crossing the line’. Unfortunately it also proved a ‘damp’ spot for many people who were feeling sorry for the victim, not realising that he was in on the plot. The acting was too good! Not surprising, considering it was performed by some members of the Carlton Operatic & Ballet Group who had provided the entertainment at the previous Annual Ball. The tickets for the Caribbean Cruise were 27/6 each Just 24/- more than the tickets for the Annual Dance 10 years previously!
With intensive study and hard work we achieved our usual lack of success in the Area Quiz Competition, but had there been an Area Fritter Eating Competition, not only would we have been outright winners but would probably have qualified for the Guinness Book of Records. It was fortunate that Billy Clay’s kitchen was close to Clegg’s potato store.
Thomas came to the end of his honorary year in Table but within a few weeks he had called a preliminary meeting for the formation of H.B. 41 Club. I have since come to appreciate that this was the most important event of my year.
It was a full year and it is sometimes difficult to remember just when certain things happened. Was it that year when four members attended an inaugural in the Manchester Area where the Chairman was a Mr Arthur Fox? Was that the year when, at the end of the day, at Mytholmroyd Gala we cleared the stall by selling the game to a professional fairground operator? Was It that Spring when we disturbed someone ‘sleeping’ in the shelter we had built in the Crags? It was certainly the year that a ‘Great Shake’ was organised at Bent Head. I recall my Great Shake when two gatecrashers I had ejected earlier, threatened me with broken tankards. Another of the Chairman’s perks, I suppose!


The year started off with Table taking part in a large scale search in arctic conditions over our local moors for a missing waterman employed by Calderdale Water Board. He had apparently been on the moor carrying out his normal duties when a blizzard had struck. Unfortunately despite the help we and other rescuers gave the search ended tragically when the waterman was found: alas he was dead.
After weeks of protracted discussion it was finally decided not to have our own headquarters.
Good news for all the past and future Chairmen, when it was decided to present tankards in recognition of their year of office.

1966 – 1967 MAURICE JONES

This Round Table year was to be a year of change, as far as the venue was concerned – the first meeting of the year was the last held at Clay’s Cafe – and so ended the meetings finish at ten era. After not many meetings at the Hinchliffe Arms some of our members were raring to go again.
One of our more colourful members, Barrie Lord, emigrated to Australia.
A fine example of the excellent relations that we have always enjoyed with the Rotary Club materialised when we were able to arrange, at their request, that a man they knew about who also needed a holiday was able to join the two elderly people already sponsored by us on the Whitby Holiday scheme.
We were invited to select a local student to attend an international Youth Camp -but were amazed to find no-one wanted to go. A boy from Rochdale eventually was chosen. £630 was the amount realised by the very successful bonfire held in November — but perhaps equally important is the tremendous fellowship, which always develops during the weeks of preparation.


With Billy Atkin in the Area Chair and the cult of the ‘Flower People’ spreading its messages of ‘Love’ and ‘the other’ throughout the world, 1967/1968 had the makings of a year which if nothing else would be ‘different’. We got the ‘Flower People’s’ message and held our ‘Love-in’ at Peter Marshall’s works canteen and Billy Atkin got our message about ‘the other’ and attended our London Rubber Company film (with samples) at the Hinchliffe Arms. Variety continued to be the spice of Table life when we almost entered the demolition business, on the one hand someone offered us Broadstone Baptist Church at Colden (not, I hasten to add, as a going concern) and on the other hand our Roman cohort of Bacchanalian Revellers at the Blackpool Conference could no doubt have put in a keen bid for what was left of the Hills Department Store on the Sunday morning. Perhaps this is an opportune time to issue the following official statement ‘on hearing the news that, due to the fire, the Tower Circus lions had been evacuated onto the beach, Centurions Marshall, Jones and Crabtree were NOT running around Blackpool looking for Christians’. I would like to be able to recount more brave deeds of our Romans at Blackpool but once we’d breached Hadrian’s Wall (which we now know the Scots built to protect their Whisky not their women) and sampled it (the Whisky not the women) I entered into a state of Bacchanalian amnesia (noun from the Latin ‘am’ – I am; ‘Nesia’ – suffering from frost-bitten kneecaps because you made this blasted toga to short).
A year for cricketers was 1967 and Hebden Bridge and District Round Table Eleven opened their shoulder and counted their way to the Area Cricket Trophy which they shared with Dewsbury (were there really only five balls in that last over?) From winning cricketers to the newest Tabler I had a team to be proud of that year and I make no apology for borrowing Shakespeare to end these notes, ‘I count myself in nothing else so happy as in remembering my good friends’.

1968 – 1969 PETER C MARSHALL

The most surprising aspect of looking back after several years to one’s year as Chairman is the way in which the events of that year merge themselves into the overall memories of Table life.
The year 1968/1969 had both pleasure and difficulties but was overshadowed by the death in December 1968 of our founder Louis Marchesi. Maurice Jones and myself were privileged to represent our Table at his memorial service in Westminster Cathedral, London, in February 1969, and the memory of seeing over 1,000 Tablers honouring this remarkable man will remain with me always.
Unfortunately this was not the only shadow on the Table year. We had a problem of the headquarters building. The difficulty over the Marchesi Memorial Fund, heavy rain at our main event the Bonfire in November, and even a threatened vote of censure against the National President. All these items were discussed at length, both in Table and at Table Council and the problem faced by all Chairmen of allowing sufficient time for fair discussion without effecting the fraternal side of Table meetings, was at times somewhat difficult to balance.
Fraternally, 1968/1 969 was a successful year. We held four dances, Including the Annual Ball (transferred to the Alexander Hall in Halifax, as the local hall was temporarily out of commission). The children’s outing was at Flamingo Park and at the year end a handsome profit was made for Table funds. On the community service side, despite inclement weather, £380 was made at the Bonfire and Barbecue. All the usual Table efforts were well supported and this at a time when Table strength was reluctantly low.
To summarise 1968/1969, I would say that it was far from the best Table year, but the difficulties welded the Tablers together, the efforts of which show in its strength today.

1969 – 1970 ALAN NEIL

This year literally started off with a bang. Tabler Pat Smith brought over a shy young man from Cheshire to blow up one of our local Chimney stacks and give us an educational talk on his past experiences. We, with trepidation, invited 200 Tablers from all over Area 9 to our meeting. To our surprise the tickets went like mad.
They had heard of Blaster Bates, even if we hadn’t. It was a fantastic and memorable night. From the proceeds of this event we purchased a second hand Caravan and renovated it ourselves for use at Table events.
We laid on a Bar, Barbecue and Dance at Bent Head for the party of Swedish students visiting Area 9 and we even fixed them up with local girls to dance with. The girls and boys had a marvellous night. True Community Service or was it fraternal?
At this stage of the year a name most of us had never heard of became very important to us – South Emsall. We were informed that after a Social Evening at our meeting place, the White Lion Hotel, South Emsall Round Table had pinched our meeting plaque, and that if we wanted it back we would have to go and get it from them at one of their meetings.
As we considered this unlawful act, our solicitor Tabler, David Butterworth issued them with a writ. A joint meeting was arranged and this took the form of an hilarious trial, with wigs and robes, etc. Afterwards the plaque was returned to me with due ceremony. We all had a marvellous evening of fellowship and it was only just before we boarded our coach to return home, that I discovered that the plaque had vanished again. This time it was captured by the Chairman of Hope Valley Round Table who had been the neutral judge at the trial.
You can imagine the comments I received from the rest of the Table when I gave them the news – unprintable. However, all turned out well. It was returned to us by Chairman Gill Searl and a delegation of six Hope Valley Tablers.
We had a successful Cricket Season, and won the Area 9 Cricket Cup, and Halifax Round Table our Mother Table celebrated their 40 Anniversary
Two sad events in the year. The death of Past Chairman Keith Hamer, only months after his Honorary Year ended, and the loss of Dorothy Crabtree, wife of Past Chairman Tom Crabtree.

13th MAY 1970 – 14th APRIL 1971 DON SHEARD

The year started badly, two resignations, one the table wit, the other, due to personal and business reasons, the Chairman. I had just started to enjoy being Table’s Chairman of Vice but alas good things never last long and I was thrown in at the deep end with nothing prepared.
We started with a Boxing Tournament an excellent night’s entertainment Tommy Miller the local boxing promoter said we couldn’t fail to make a bomb, but no bomb, not even a squib, a loss.
The name of Hebden Bridge Round Table is obviously known nationwide as consultants to the catering trade and we were engaged by the Ministry of Culture to provide food and wine at their ‘Awake’ on Calder Holmes and profits were made. We also won a large contract from the Galloping Gourmet himself, namely Tabler Neville De-Marney, to cater at a Sheep Dog Trial at Harden Moss, again very fruitful. The next event would have been a spectacular Marquee Dance, we engaged Chris Barber and were hoping for thousands to flock to hear him, but we got cold feet, after the other local pop festival disaster, and backed out. Table were then sued for loss of earnings for £400. After due consideration by our lawyer John and negotiations by our Accountant Barrie, we managed to settle the claim for a mere £19.
Table lost the Area Cricket Cup in the final to Rothwell, Table felt after holding it for three years it was time someone else had it to clean. Instead we got the Area Balls as runners-up.
A few new faces appeared in Table during the year, and there is nothing like a Bonfire to mould them into Tablers. Fellowship is always good around Bonfire time. I’ll never forget Tabler Cyril the vicar, whilst loading market stalls he threw three planks which landed on my toe. I shouted ‘Bloody hell’, Cyril looked up with an innocent face seemingly awaiting a new swear word. Cyril had his own back in Heptonstall Church this time, when Table played host to Area at a Christmas Carol Service, he had me in the pulpit reading a lesson for my evils.
Table came fifth in the Area swimming contest, thanks to fine efforts by our newer members, also Table excelled themselves knowledge-wise and reached the semi-finals of the Area Quiz.
Table went from strength to strength as the year progressed, we were helped by Table business being at a minimum thus giving us time to enjoy the excellent speakers and lengthy question times with plenty of time for fellowship afterwards.
I certainly enjoyed my year as Chairman especially during the latter part of the year, but who couldn’t have had a great year on this surge of enthusiasm?

1971 – 1972 HAROLD RYDER

We nearly had our 21st Charter Anniversary last year, because we could not find the Charter; or at least we could not find the copy, for the original had disappeared many years ago. After some frantic searching the treasured document was unearthed and the big day was fixed.
I mention this incident not to denigrate our Table, or make it appear that we are more careless, less organised than most, for I imagine we are a fairly typical Table more concerned with present than past. In fact the incident was typical of a year when we managed to have our social affairs in nearly total chaos, but the important thing, and perhaps the moral, was that we finished the year laughing heartily at our blunders, stronger in number and spirit, and with the Table funds considerably richer than I have ever known them.
During the year we did all the usual things but two events were special. We had our second visit of Blaster Bates or rather we nearly didn’t. The scene I shall never forget. It was July, It was hot, very hot and the Carlton Ballroom was bulging with about 300 men downing pints of beer with gay abandon. At 9 am (one hour later) I had that sinking feeling Blaster Bates hadn’t arrived. Eventually he turned up, thank god, or we could have had a riot.
The second outstanding event was the ‘Knockout’, a gala-day type fund raising effort. It was new to us and we were nervous. In the end, tempers frayed but it was all right on the day. The weather was glorious, and the event an outstanding success.
Yes, blunder and all 1971 – 1972 was a good year to be Chairman.


A very hard working year thus far, for all Tablers but nonetheless enjoyable.
The 21st Anniversary of our Charter presentation and the celebrations to be held was but one of the tasks we set ourselves.
Our catering activities were again well to the fore, food and drink being provided at the Harden Moss Sheepdog Trials and also at Todmorden’s Donkey Derby.
We had another successful ‘knockout’ fund raising event which produced about £400 for our community service work and the greatest ice cream controversy since Walls and Lyons amalgamated.
The date of our Annual Ball was changed three times but nevertheless still managed to clash with that of another organisation. Shades of last year when the venue for our Chairman’s evening was double booked to clash with an Evangelist Revival Rally.
The Young Wives challenged us to a football match after hearing that our star man had been ‘slain’ by Pontefract in the Holmfirth 7 a side competitions despite the said star having to bat one handed.
We constructed a side show to assist in our fund raising but so far this has produced a large deficit being used by every one except ourselves much to the disgust of the Treasurer.
We Inherited the Crosby Payne Trophy and retained it far longer than the rules allow, causing great concern at Area but it looked so beautiful, polished and prominently displayed in our Secretary’s house.
However, a great deal of Table visiting was done and all our Tablers visited at least two other Tables promoting our Charter event and acquiring on their way the Morley Bent Penny.
Two prospective members began to visit us and we again played a part in Area extension by formally seconding the proposed inauguration of Sitlington.
All in all a busy and tiring six months for all our Tablers. Enthusiasm still runs high and I personally look forward to the remainder of my year of office, and Table I am sure looks forward to its next 21 years.

1973 – 1974 MICHAEL GILL

I was well prepared to take the office of Chairman in 1973. After a year as Vice Chairman to Barrie I had been called upon to deputise on several occasions, not least of which was the night of the 21st Charter Anniversary September 1972. Barrie was going to be late and he asked me to host the reception for guest Tablers and guest speaker – Stuart Hall of ‘It’s a Knock Out’ fame.
That was no problem. Stuart was soon showing all present his boxer shorts ‘white with red hearts’. Boxer shorts in 1972 would you believe? Outrageous fellow. My concern was would Barrie turn up in time to Chair the celebrations later in the evening. He did and no one could have done it better.
The minutes of my year made disappointing reading. They didn’t convey much of the humour, banter and fellowship that I remember. Some words did leap from those well typed pages i.e., Bonfire, Nev’s Barn, Blackpool Conference, Chairman’s Evening etc, to bring back some of the magic.
I think any year which sees the Introduction of Tablers of the calibre of Dave Bell and Roger Haynes must be a good year.

1974 – 1975 PETER LAYFIELD

In an accident at a ski resort I broke my leg and was confined to bed in traction for eight weeks. Our local heating and machine engineers Max and Peter designed a special bed and I was duly removed from hospital and installed in the lounge of my home. In this setting, Table meetings were conducted during February and March.
Neville brought the food and beer and drink flowed in abundance. As Chairman, I had to set an example and was not allowed to default in my ale consumption! Of course when in traction it is impossible to leave ones bed – as the evening progressed so did my discomfort.
Realisation dawned that I also needed a glass engineer to design a urine bottle to cope with five pints of Neville’s fine ale and alas my cup runneth over!


During the year two prospective members were introduced into Table, making a total of 27 Members and two Honorary Members, Jimmy Ashworth and Michael Gill. All the usual events were attended and enjoyed.
1976 was the year we nearly lost the bonfire when it was set on fire the week previous to the big day by vandals, but after 1,000’s of gallons of water were pumped from the River Calder by the Fire Brigade and sterling efforts from Tablers, particularly Max Sunderland and Paul Watson, the fire was brought under control and finally put out. The following week local businesses rallied round delivering pallets etc., to enable the plot to be rebuilt, as big as ever and give the usual enjoyment to the people of Calder Valley. Incidentally, the cost of fireworks for this bonfire was increased from £100 to £150, a big difference in fifteen years to be now talking in thousands.
As any past Chairman will say, it was a privilege and an honour to preside over Table during my term of office and many happy moments are remembered.

1976 – 1977 MAX SUNDERLAND

This was one of those ‘special’ years for Hebden Bridge RT when we were privileged to have as Area Chairman, Barrie Singleton who proved that his forte was by far as an after dinner speaker and Area Chairman than his prowess at building bonfires!!!
Tablers acted as taxi drivers for Barrie, driving the length and breadth of Area 9, usually at great speed (to ensure that he arrived on time for functions) because Barrie was always late home from the office.
The Area Dinner at the Cutlers’ Hall in Sheffield saw Barrie at his speaking best, overshadowing our guest speaker – TV personality the late Ted Moult – who to put it politely ‘made a hash of it’, leaving Barrie to carry the night.
Our hard earned profit from the annual bonfire – a record £825.00 – was used for providing the entrance lobby for the almost completed Mytholmroyd Community Centre, who then, as now in 1991, were having financial difficulties.
In January, with the year at its coldest, Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall were made ‘gasless’ due to the gas main fracturing at Station Road. Table once again showed its worth in an emergency by making and delivering soup to the elderly.
So many memories that could be recalled and related to some of the best times of my life – thanks to RTBI.

1977 – 1978 RODGER J. KINNEAR

One of my earliest memories of my year in office was attending the Area AGM where Geoff nearly took over from our own Barrie Singleton. Barrie presented me with a ‘Gold Table Badge’, which on my retirement I presented to Table to add to its regalia as a memento of a very memorable area year for Hebden Bridge.
Fun was the theme for the year and there seemed no difficulty in achieving this with Peter Layfield as fraternal convenor and Paul Watson as community service convenor. Peter as usual threw everything into his year as convenor, even writing to members and ‘non-members’ advising them of forthcoming events.
The highlight for me was the Christmas Dinner, when I once more received’ the snip’. The script called for a part of the lady entertainer’s body to be silhouetted. Derek Sutcliffe casually asked the young lady if he could borrow her breasts.
The main community event as usual was the bonfire – the first to break the £1,000 profit figure. But what fun we had helping to make this figure, particularly in the caravan after.
Two speakers I remember vividly were Bob Mathewson, the International Football Referee and Mr John Dunn of Calderdale Amenities Department who dared enter the lion’s den.
Even ILO joined in the fun theme by having its first and possibly only social event in Hebden Bridge at Max and Molly Sunderland’s home.
March 1978 – The Fickle Finger award appeared – ‘3 into 27 won’t go’ said computer expert Nigel Sutcliffe – its first recipient.
Like most Chairmen, inducting a new member is something always remembered. I was fortunate in being the Chairman for two on one night – Terry Marshall and Allan Brooks. Regretfully my year also saw the last meetings of Max Sunderland, Peter Layfield and Don Sheard.

1978 – 1 979 JOHN SUNDERLAND

After being a member for 16 years I had the honour of being Chairman in my final year in Table.
The year started well by Max returning the original copy of the Charter, which had been lost for several years.
Table meetings were as usual varied and enjoyable. For the first time in my Table life we had a visiting Lady President when we had a joint meeting with Rotaract. Another speaker who was to talk on earthquakes turned out to be a prophet of doom and forecast the end of the world, but I am pleased to see that he was wrong. Being a sporting lot as well as cricket, football etc, we all tried our luck at dry skiing and the sight of Dave Bell on skis and Max’s badly scraped backside after a slight mishap were very memorable.
On the community service side, the over 80’s dinner was a great success. We painted the outside of the Community Centre and presented a cheque made out on a squash ball to pay for the refurbishment of the Foyer.
The bonfire was again a great success with the children of the area having a Guy Fawkes competition. I even managed not to get my hair singed, unlike I did on a previous occasion, when at a lighting ceremony.
The fun and fellowship of the Area Rally and Area Dinner was great, but I had the indignity of travelling back from Sheffield in a car boot, after Roger had let the coach go with only half of the people on board. The lads’ day out was to the ‘Dogs’ in Manchester in an Ice Cream van followed by a visit to a disco, where young Tablers discovered that they were not just as young as they thought, when the young maidens there refused to dance with any of us old men.
On reflecting on Hebden Bridge Round Table, two lines of poetry come to mind, which a very good friend of Table wrote for the Wishing Well in Hardcastle Crags.
“A wish to improve can do nothing but good, Some men have a dream and it is right that they should.”
I believe that Table has kept that dream alive.


With more emphasis on the enjoyment of Table, performing or (Mooning) at Batley Variety Club in the Area Song Contest, for the first time, was memorable as was a successful Tudor Banquet at the Birchcliffe Centre and a very wet camping weekend in the Dales with our families.
On the sporting scene, we were knocked out of the Area cricket match by Holmfirth in a controversial action by the bowler of the last ball of the match, although we went on to beat them in the seven-a-side.
The soapbox team did well coming second and third at Melbourne and second at Todmorden.
A sigh of relief when the famous dance floor was moved for the final time, being sold for the sum of £70.
It was curious that during my year our local library kept a copy of ‘History of Round Table’ in the social problem section.

1980 – 1981 TONY SCOTT

The year began with 24 members following the induction of Alan Thwaite. Tony Turner and Martin Sutcliffe joined later in the year. Ian Peace, Robert Heap and Malcolm McCoubrie resigned and Edward Marshall moved to South Africa (followed shortly afterwards by the glass fish).
Fund raising events included the canal race and jumping (£700) and the ever successful bonfire (£2000). Gill Lumb provided £500 worth of fireworks for all our entertainment.
There were many very enjoyable social evenings with the highlight being the Tudor Banquet. There was also a progressive dinner, a Ladies’ Evening (I still have 30 pairs of chopsticks) and of course the Christmas Dinner (with me seated in a wardrobe), cost £7.00. The Blackpool weekend is well remembered particularly for the large teapot. I celebrated my 40th birthday with a memorable party and cleared my head on Ainsdale beach the following day on the kids’ day out.
Speaker nights began with cognac tasting and included visits to see egg packing, waterworks, Hartley and Sugdens boiler works, and the research laboratory at Cockhill plus Goose Eye Brewery. There was, for me, a most embarrassing evening of HGV driving by kind permission of Stephen Greenroyd.
Sporting successes included cricket and a visit to Ryedale where we played amongst the long grass. Teams were first and second at Colne Soapbox Derby and second at Melbourne.
I thoroughly enjoyed my year and memories become even sweeter with the passage of time.

1981 – 1982 DAVID BELL

My year as Chairman, as I am sure all other Chairmen feel, was very special, with Trevor Oaten as Vice Chairman, Terence Ashley Marshall, Secretary, Paul Watson , Treasurer, Roger Haynes, Social, and Melvyn Bailey, Community Service, I had a first class team. Graham Walsh as Area Chairman and Raschid Gabrail as National President.
In May we were off to National Conference, and in June, down a coal mine. Also in June was the canal jump where half of Table turned into the ‘paparazzi’ when a girl in a T shirt and little else fell in.
The year progressed with new member Neil Croft finding his feet (but not for dancing) and somebody called Graham Lumb being suggested as a possible member. Who knew at the time what we were taking on?
In October we celebrated our 30th Charter with Willy Clark and founder member Harold Crabtree speaking, the price being £5.50.
National Sporting Weekend, and Roaring Twenties night at Birchcliffe took us up to the Bonfire and a profit of £2,000.
November saw Trevor having to stand down as Vice because of work commitments, and Stephen Edwards was elected. On through the year with things too many to mention reading back in the minutes I have laughed at incidents long forgotten.
I consider it a privilege to have been a member of Hebden Bridge and District Round Table and an honour to have been its Chairman.


Until I looked at the minutes for my year the chief memory was of the bonfire: biggest crowd yet said the Bridge Times. (If the crowd increases as Round Table estimates each year by 2010, its size will be 50,000!). £550 spent on fireworks and surplus of £15,000.
When I read the minutes, memories of other events come flooding back. We had a Pole Vaulting Competition across the canal at Mytholmroyd. Our flood warning system was used literally when Elphin Court was flooded following a cloud burst when Tablers appeared by magic to help clear up. The Birchcliffe Centre was converted to Blackpool for a Day at the Seaside and at the real Blackpool we came second at the Rally as ‘The Red Barrows’ a formation ‘Flying Team’.
Lads’ Day out at Old Trafford for the Lancs v Yorks Sunday match was marred by bad weather but enlivened in the Bar by an impromptu jousting match with mops by Trevor and Terry.
The sports year was crowned by success in the 11-a-side and 7-a-side cricket. A memorable year for me one for which I shall always be grateful to Hebden Bridge and District Round Table.

1983 – 1984 TERRY MARSHALL

I have no doubt that as with all the men before me, and those who have and will succeed to the Chair, just as I was getting to grips with the role it was over – a year I will never forget.
How strange are the tricks of memory, often hazy about the most important events in a man’s life yet preserving the merest trifles. Re-reading my year’s minutes reveals no world changing resolutions, but does record in one sentence on 22nd June 1993 (in relation to some minor incident) ‘Roger Haynes indignantly snorted out and David Bell looked embarrassed and was speechless’.
Thank you for the humour, memories and fellowship, all too soon the age rule applies; when you’re forty half of your life belongs to the past, but hopefully to us all old age will always be fifteen years older than we are!

1984 – 1985 PAUL WATSON

I doubt there are many Round Tablers who have been involved with the number of bonfires I have, and how remarkable it is that only one in the last 25 years has been threatened by rain. In the law of averages it had to happen, and so it was to be during my Chairman’s year, the heavens opened, even Ralph Godsall could not change God’s will and stop the rain.
The crisis meeting at the Railway Pub ‘gelled’ Tablers into a united team intent on getting the event back on the road the following Monday. (Let’s face it there was little chance of getting them out of the pub at that stage!)
This for me was Hebden Bridge Round Table at its best with all hands to the pump (literally) and something I was to reflect on very proudly.
It was also during my year that we pioneered another event, the Beer Festival, with convenor Dave Fisher, and with a little help from the people of CAMRA each without driving licences. We used their expertise and let them pay their own bus far home again.
I enjoyed my year as HBRT Chairman but I also gave it the same commitment every year and it paid me back handsomely.
Best wishes to HBRT 1991 on your 40th year and make Round Table for yourself as we did when it was in our hands.

1985 – 1986 NEIL CROFT

We started the year with twenty members and some exciting ideas.
We decided to look for a Table in Europe to twin with, it only took a further two years to find one willing to have us.
The wishing well in Hardcastle Crags was so successful we decided to build a second one, on the marina in Hebden Bridge. Many words have been spoken about it since that meeting in 1985 but, as yet, no action. 1991 may be the year Tablers start to dig their next well!
1985 saw the first Table run beer festival, held at the Community Centre, Mytholmroyd. It was a great success with beer from all over the country. There were a few sore heads the next day after the heroic efforts of some Tablers who had sampled all the different brews to make sure they were fit for the public to drink. The event raised £1,000 for the Martin House Appeal.
We had another good year in Table sports and nearly won a number of events. We actually won the Area 7-a-side cricket competition and decided to host it the next year. We have organised it every year since.
All the regular Table events were up to their normal high standard, with the Lads’ Weekend in the Lake District particularly entertaining.
A memorable year for me and, hopefully, a successful one for Table.


Repeats - Area Dinner, Rally, National Conference
Obligations - Tudor Banquet, Xmas Dinner, Todmorden Pet Show
Usual - Burnsall, Barn Disco, Garden Party, Babes in the Wood
New - Laser and music at Bonfire, wishing well planned
Different - Beer festival, Burns Night, Progressive Progressive

Traditional - New Year’s Eve, Ladies’ & Chairman’s Evening
Action - Football, Cricket, Indoor Sports, Welly Wanging
Booty - Cricket Double, Brass Boot, Pointon Paddle, Shell-Mex
Laudable - Bonfire, Anthony Nolan Appeal, Mini bus, Over 80’s
International - Patna Round Table, Norwich No 1 Silver Jubilee
Nearly - Twinning, Skid Driving, Col Carp, Song Contest
Glory - After 20 years practice, fancy dress win at Rally

Mr Men, big dipper, pillory, goat, donkey, umpah band, stone trough, haggis, Evita, oxygen, dumper truck, ketchup soup, blood tests, Hindi Folk song, The Louis Marchesi, ‘Best in Area 9’.
Glorious memories, vintage year.

1987 – 1988 ROGER HAYNES

What are my memories of my year as Chairman of Hebden Bridge and District Round Table; well it certainly lived up to the Round Table, motto of Adopt, Adapt, Improve.
We adopted the Dutch. May, saw the first visit of member’s wives of Almere Round Table to Hebden Bridge. A visit enjoyed by all and, think, a great success.
We adapted the Barn Disco to a tent. The tent being erected on Old Town Cricket Field, I well remember putting my foot down a hole whilst carrying the roast pig. Fortunately I didn’t drop it.
We Improved 41 Club’s cricket record. We let them win! Or were the Just the better team!
Finally there was ‘Roger’. He was the Guide Dog for the Blind sponsored by Hebden Bridge Round Table. I wonder why he was called ‘Roger’?

1988 – 1989 ALAN D CRABTREE

Despite membership falling below twenty, the first time for many years, Table still had quite an outstanding year. For only the second time in our history we were able to boast the Area 9 Chairman from our ranks, Neil Croft being in the hot seat. This meant that in addition to our own full programme of events we were heavily involved III all Area activities. The highlights of which were hosting the Area AGM at Calder High School, running the Area Dinner at the Cutlers Hall, Sheffield and organising the 7-a-side Cricket, plus having a record turnout of couples at the Rally in Blackpool.
Our own social events included the Tent Disco, a Casino Night at Birchcliffe Centre, a trip to a real Casino for Ladies’ Evening and the kids took us to Lightwater Valley for a Day Out.
Community Service saw our second Beer Festival and the now annual Bonfire was so successful that we were able to give away nearly £10,000 in donations.
Two firsts during the year which deserve a special mention were our Inaugural visit to Almere Round Table in May when ten couples had a fantastic weekend in Holland. As a memento of our visit we presented them with a superb Round Table Lectern, constructed by Immediate Past Chairman, Roger Haynes. The other event was the Table Weekend Away, when the ten Tablers who went on a 4Oft long boat on the Staffordshire & Worcester Canal will never forget the experience. A legacy of this event is the Cock-up Kettle, which the Chairman now awards at every business meeting.
As the year ended a cloud appeared on the horizon with the news that the VAT people were looking at Tables affairs, but to finish on a high note in the year of many highs, I introduced five new members during my term of office to once more restore us to a healthy membership.

1989 – 1990 GRAHAM LUMB

Looking back on my year as Chairman it progressed much as any other, having its fair share of social functions, community service events and gave rise to a good dose of fellowship. However, it would be fair to say that the year was not without certain highlights.
It began with the return visit of our Dutch guests from Almere -a visit, which resulted in the temporary loss of the jewel, culminating in a Dutch policeman being clapped in irons on its return.
On the Area front it was decreed that Council Meetings were to be preceded by a full-blown meal (helps sleep come easy!). Halifax, our mother table, celebrated their 60th Charter and as hosts of the Area Meeting on 19th February 1990 Hebden Bridge were honoured with the presence of our National President, Gareth George.
Visitors to our meetings were many including a visit by Huddersfield Pendragon in its entirely to present us with a damn great wagon wheel – a trophy which was quickly despatched to an unsuspecting Todmorden Table at their Chairman’s Evening.
Meetings themselves were varied and humorous with venues including a Marquee at Bradford University as we assisted with preparation for NSW hosted by Area 9. The year culminated in a move of our permanent venue to the Shoulder of Mutton, Mytholmroyd.
All in all another fine year and one which, as Chairman, I wouldn’t have missed for a pension!

1990 – 1991 DICK HOLBOROW

The year got off to a start with a bang when Table paid its second visit to Almere 155 Holland. As before, we were treated to a magnificent weekend that all who went will always remember.
A new event for Hebden Bridge, a Duck Race was introduced. We soon learnt that rubber ducks are not very aerodynamic, and the unusual advent of an East wind resulted in the little yellow blighter’s floating UPSTREAM. An entry in the Guinness Book of Records for the longest ever duck race was considered.
Six new members Joined us, more than ever before in one year except the first, and they helped in all our usual events, Impressively, as this year, we managed not to lose anybody during the over 80’s dinner!

1991 – 1992 PETER CRAVEN

Full Circle, forty years on and having almost four Tablers with over 50 years experience between them at the AGM.
We now have a Table that is as small as at the beginning and fairly inexperienced.
Has it measured up to Table of the previous forty years? Certainly it is different, but the new faces that have come in and those that are now on their way have brought new ideas and enthusiasm, so I am sure that they will carry HBRT through to the 50th Charter without too much difficulty.
Normally the first half of a Table year is the quieter but certainly not this one. Tablers have visited all over Area 9 and beyond, as well enjoying a full programme of events including flying in microlights, hot air balloons and one or two went into orbit on various exotic brews during the summer parties.
All of Table is looking forward to the rest of the year with a blend of traditional events interspersed with a few surprises but that is another story…

1992 – 1993 MARTIN WEST

This year got off to the best start with the acceptance of honorary membership of Graham Lumb, Alan Crabtree and President of 41 Club, John Sunderland.
Summer events included preparation for and racing at the Soap Box Derby revised this year by Melbourne Round
Table, Derbyshire, Canoeing on the Rochdale Canal, Rock climbing at Albert Promenade, Paint Ball War Games at Castle Carr and Quasar at Huddersfield – all of which enhanced this Table’s reputation for putting itself about.
The autumn saw an enjoyable Tent Disco at Tenterfields and another successful Bonfire, blessed this year by good weather, enticed an audience of approximately 12,000. The Community Service Convenor, Alan Clayton, organised a further fundraiser with our first Valentine’s Night Dance to the music of soul Survivor at Calder High School.
With little preparation, but some very good fancy dress outfits arranged by Tricia Smith, we managed to come second at the Blackpool Rally with our representation of Thunder/Blunderbirds.
Importantly we inducted three active new Tablers, Mark Oates, Dave Ratcliffe and Richard Fleming and our charity donations of approximately £9,000 were made to organisations amongst which, Calder High School, Wood Bank School, White Windows, the Macmillan Fund and the Scouts.
A good year for Table and the best of years for me spent in the company of a first rate set of lads.


A brilliant year!
We went go-karting to Warrington
Soapbox rallying to Melbourne, Derbyshire
Sailing to Scammonden
Roses cricket to Old Trafford
Tenpin bowling and Laser Questing, we visited Boddingtons and an amazing brewery at Lynthwaite.
We ran a tent disco at Luddendenfoot, a soul night at Calder High School, the old folks went to Harrogate and yet another record take at the Bonfire.
A superb weekend was had by all at the Imperial Hotel, Blackpool, and we hosted 8 Tablers from Holland and Germany (port will never taste the same!)
Many Happy memories… An unforgettable year…

1994 – 1995 PETER SMITH

Memory plays tricks with us all, and trying to put together the highlights for my Chairman’s year separately from all the other super moments of my Table career has not proved to be that easy, however I rather liked these.
As Chairman I had the opportunity of proposing my Honorary members and was very pleased to be able to have with me for the year the main reason I ever got involved with Round Table and on whom much blame must be placed, my father. Pat Smith. Happily he was the soul of discretion and reported back only a fraction of what actually went on.
The Bonfire, as always a major event, went smoothly enough until the fireworks had to be set off in a rush to prevent the crowd moving into the danger zone, I’d never spent £5000 in 12 minutes before – or since.
A trip to visit our twin Tables of Almere and Cuxhaven in Holland seemed to have me soaked (inside and out) or sinking for most of the weekend, a yard of ale, boat trips, cycle paths (or psychopaths as Dave Ratcliffe called them) in the rain and let’s try floating the Chairman in a blow up raft (with holes) race.
Christmas dinner saw me glued to a board in the “Solvite Man’s” boiler suit, regrettably his legs were longer than mine and I had to spend the evening standing on two upturned buckets to prevent being split up the middle by the gusset. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Kaye for letting go of the board at the crucial moment and drowning me in the custard pie.
And finally, the opening line of our winning routine at the Area 9 Rally at Blackpool will a remind me of what was a very special year.
Take your guard. How’s that? Not out. Six!!

1995 – 1996 ALAN CLAYTON

My year as Chairman of HBRT, to try to cover the highpoints of the year in fifty words would be impossible as looking back through my albums I realised what a special year it was.
The trip to Cuxhaven, and the fellowship throughout the whole weekend.
The Bonfire raised £11,000 pounds another brilliant night. Christmas Dinner and my worst nightmare, having to put my head into 20 gallons of Italian made ice cream. Rally with 14 couples present and I could go on…
Oh and to put the icing on the cake Hebden Bridge won ‘best Table in Area 9’ for 95/96


I knew that following Alan Clayton into the Chair would prove a difficult task, this was confirmed when my first official ‘chore’ was to accept, on behalf of HBRT, the Table of the year Trophy for Area 9 (95/96) from outgoing area chairman David Peel.
In May Hebden Bridge hosted the ILO weekend with visitors from Almere and Cuxhaven, being treated to a walk around Castle Carr Estate (where local farmer and character Frank Schofield discussed the merits of wind farms, British beef and World War II – Result: Holland 2, Germany Nil, England 10) This was followed by Morris dancing lessons. me dressed as a nurse and lots of fun.
The rest of the year was a blur of tropical barbeques. soul nights, Bonfire, Ladies’ Night, parties, etc. etc. etc. Unbelievably, while I was having such a good time and seemingly without breaking into a sweat, Hebden Bridge RT banked over £11k profit to provide support for local charities and good causes. I acknowledge the commitment and energies so readily donated by Hebden Bridge Ladies’ Circle to make our events so successful.
Regrets? I’ve had a few, but then again too few to mention, except one, I joined Table at the age of 35. How I wish I’d joined earlier…

1997 – 1998 MIKE FINNEY

What a great year!… for me and hopefully for 294.
Following in my father’s footsteps as a Round Table Chairman meant a great deal to me.
We successfully held all the usual events:
Bonfire... yet another annual triumph over adversity with huge numbers of people , huge effort of members and friends and a good monetary return for charity at the end of it.
Chairman’s evening… at the Carlton Hotel. A great speech from Steven Greenroyd a little rhyme from me and lots of flowers for the ladies.
Ladies’ Night… at Kershaw House. A revolutionary approach to the seating plan, (rotating everyone after each course) left a bemused belly as he went one way and watched as his rather good bottle of red went the other!!
Christmas Dinner… at Kershaw House. Me in a boat suspended from a beam (the boat that is!) Far too much rum, not enough food and I’m told some very attractive girls, one with a whip?!? (an unforgettable event....but only for those that can remember it!!??)
In and amongst we suffered a resignation, petty squabbles and a great deal of banter, wit, repartee and fellowship which is, to my mind, what it’s all about.
Long may it continue…

1998 – 1999 MARK HODGINS

When 41 Club heard that some Irish man was going to run Table, doom and gloom prevailed with a whisper that covered the valley, “what does an Irishman know about Table?” Having been in Table ten years and successfully having skirted around all the major jobs they had want to be nervous. Luckily for me, I had some excellent mentors and past Chairmen to call on for advice and help. But more importantly I had a group of Tablers who would have made any Chairman envious for their friendship and commitment.
Needless to say Table excelled at everything we participated in, winning Shell Mex, Louis Marchesi ‘best in Area 9’ and Area 9 Rally with our ‘Totally Tropical Theme’.
Bonfire raised £10,000 and £9,000 was donated to worthy causes during my year.
Progressives were hilarious with full table participation.
Lads’ Weekend in particular I will never forget (nor be allowed!) for bringing 20 lads to Ireland and forgetting to book the hotel for the right dates. Not that it made any difference to the weekend as this was the first time that I can remember a full Table turn out on the Lad’s Weekend.
In particular, will never forget the 26 Guinnesses, amidst the Whiskey tasting, drunk on the Saturday by each and every Tabler (including past members, Chris Horsfall, Area 9 Chairman, and good old Keith Wilkinson who is known through out RT the world over!) all surviving to tell the tale.
I started the year with a group of lads and ended it, proud to be part of a very special team. Thanks lads.

1999 – 2000 ANDREW WALKER

What a year, Chairman of Hebden Bridge, Area 9 Rally Chairman and the turn of the century as well.
It started with a “boyzone” performance at Ladies’ Circle AGM and went to:
Four days at National Conference, Manchester
National Family Weekend, Milton Keynes
Area 9 Dinner, Elland
The Bonfire, record profits of £11,500
Curry for Christmas Dinner
Welcome to the New Millennium Party
Ladies’ Evening on the Leeds – Liverpool Canal
Finishing with Chairman’s Evening at the Carlton Hotel
Mixed with these events were numerous Chairman’s Evenings, progressive dinners, camping weekends, sporting events and of course the Area 9 Rally at Blackpool.
All in all, a year filled with great times, giving me great memories but most of all, spent with great friends.

2000 – 2001 PETER SAUNDERS

I just re-read the speech I made at Chairman’s night and can hardly believe how many good memories of the things we did it contains. When I wrote it, I had to cut it harshly to keep it to a reasonable length. Now I’ve even less space to reflect on a terrific year. We had some fun in 2000 and 2001.
It rained the whole month before bonfire, but we still made a profit. The visit to Holland to see our Dutch and German friends in Almere was a great week-end. Rally was a buzz: despite too much to drink, we performed our routine to perfection (well, nearly!). Too many highlights and too little space to write about them…
We’ve discussed for the last few years whether the bonfire remains a viable proposition. We continue to run it, I think, because the real essence of table comes to the fore at that do. We all pull together: not just Table, but Ladies’ Circle, 41 Club and Rotary, and put on a terrific community event. We entertain 10,000 on the park and the same number or more on the hills around the valley. It’s an awful lot of hard work, but we keep getting it working like clockwork on the day.
The best bit about being Chairman of HBRT is having a house-full of friends after occasions like Bonfire, Christmas Dinner and Chairman’s Evening; even if they do delve through all the cupboards and pinch my favourite trainers. I was privileged to be the 49th Chairman of HBRT and had one of many enjoyable years since moving north. Being an “incomer”, and not the most gregarious of people, the “instant roots” and firm friendships that Table has given me makes Hebden Bridge my home, not just the place my house is. Table is very special to me.

2002 – 2003 JOHN DONOGHUE

After following Mike Kaye in to Table, 11 years on I followed him in to the Chair. I had great fun and enjoyment from all that I did and hope the guys did the same. We hosted Dutch and German Tablers, took them on a huge hike and in the evening we set fire to John Roberts’ tree! At the annual cricket match against 41 club we actually won, but by only 5 runs. We had to remind them for the rest of the year just in case it slipped their minds!!!
Peter Saunders, Mike Kaye and I went to National Sporting Weekend in Birmingham. We didn’t win anything but after all, it is only the taking part that counts.
The Bonfire was the biggest wash out seen since mid 80s and the park resembled a paddy field for days. We still pulled together, as we always do, to make the best of a bad do, but with only £1600 profit our donations were bound to suffer and they did!
Rally was at The Prince Of Wales Hotel in Southport. How proud I was to host every one in our room before going to Dinner and again on Saturday before we staged our performance. Rally is special to me and so are the rally faithful. The good times we have rehearsing and at rally are second to none.
Christmas dinner: the less said the better.
Lads weekend in Madrid was a great experience but for some of the wrong reasons. Getting caught up in a full on riot was amazing and scary at the same time and some of the boys have bruises from baton charges to prove it. I am sure that I am, and will remain, the only chairman to have caught a rubber bullet.
Progressive Dinners, New Year's Party, Ladies Night in Manchester, Band Night - Soul Rights, Over 80s, Chairman's Night I enjoyed wearing the chain at every meeting and representing HBRT at many events.
I made many new friends within Area whilst attending various events on behalf of Table.
I had always aspired to be Chairman and I enjoyed every minute of it. My only regret was that it had to end.

2005 – 2006 ANTHONY HOYLE

As the son of Chris and Margaret Hoyle I was brought up with Round Table and Ladies Circle in my early years, and enjoyed many family activities.
In 1997 I was introduced into Round Table by Karl Boggis and inducted into H.B.R.T by the then chairman Dave Ratcliffe.
During my year as Chairman our sporting activities were only rivalled by a list of Olympic events: clay pigeon shooting, ten-pin bowling, golf, kick boxing, squash and pool.
The annual cricket match against 41 club was played in it usual 'friendly' way.
The score sheet read:- A Hoyle c D Hoyle b C Hoyle.
My brother was playing for 41club!!
Socially we; boozed on a barge, barbecued in the garden, tasted cheese and wine, toasted Lord Nelson on Trafalgar Day, tested our brains with a quiz.
Lunched at whynbrae after the bonfire and learned sign language.
Area 9 Rally was held at the Palace Hotel Buxton- the theme was Shake Rattle and Roll. We went as Sonny and Cher-'I got you babe' was our song.
In September H.B.R.T. welcomed visitor from Cuxhaven in Holland for the weekend. We visited White Scar Caves at Ingleton, had a fun and games evening and brunch at the White Swan before our Dutch friends returned home.
Hebden Bridge Annual bonfire provided the community with a spectacular firework display and again raised many thousands of pounds for local and national good causes.
In March Area 9 chairman Martin Gunson visited for our meeting.
Marie Peters talked on 'signing for the deaf'.
April 1- Chairman's Evening.
This was probably the highlight of my year.
80 people sat down for a meal at Hebden Bridge Golf Club.
Julie Finney 'signed' my speech for me. She had been my support teacher at Calder High School 20 years before!
I had a fantastic year as Chairman of Hebden Bridge Round Table with great support from my family and friends.
John Donoghue took over from me for his second term as Chairman.


2006 – 2007 JOHN DONOGHUE

Round Table is suffering, as are most other Tables with inducting and keeping new members. We were struggling to fill the top job & after a great deal of thought I put myself forward for the vacant post of chairman.
Hebden Bridge had never had the same chairman twice and the idea horrified a few, I threw my hat in the ring went on holiday and let the member have the discussion.
I found that being chairman for the second time was a lot easier than the first yet I got twice the enjoyment and fulfillment.
Some highlights,
Conference in Killarny, drinking in every (smoke free) Odonoghue bar, and getting hold of Area Chairman’s (Andy Cole’s) room keys, trashing it & watching on as Andy Walker gets the blame during breakfast.
Fairy Tale Rally where we had a “clean sweep”of wins.
Cuxhaven, Twinning weekend, don’t drink Grapper & the following day go on a boat!!
Glam Godz Band Night.
Bonfire. Initially cancelled but then saved for the next 2 years by a kind donation.
Chairmans Night. Very well attended & I inducted the third new member this year.
Only one low point, RIP my good friend & ex Tabler Mark Hodgins.
I was privileged to have another very memorable & enjoyable year thanks to the support of HBRT members.


Chairman: *F Walton
Vice-Chairman: *H Wadsworth
Hon Secretary: *T K Hamer
Hon Treasurer: *H Jagger

*D W Astin
B Coulby
*H H Crabtree
*E H Dale
*J Dewhirst
*J Duckworth
*J Greenwood
*W G Lord
*D Mills
*F G Robson
*P W Sutcliffe
*B Taylor
*K Woodcock

*Founder Member


Chairman: P Craven
Vice-Chairman: M A West
Hon Secretary: P Smith
Hon Treasurer: J Day

D Butterworth
A Clayton
M Finney
M Hodgins
R Holborrow
M Jones
A Leach
G Lumb
D Nixon
S Sutciiffe
P Uttley
A Walker
R Webster

Honorary Members:
A Brooks
F Chadwick
N Croft


Chairman: M Kaye
Vice-Chairman: J Donoghue
Hon Secretary: D Chattell
Hon Treasurer: S Crook

M Hodgins
A Hoyle
D Nixon
J Pateman
J Roberts
P Saunders
A Walker

Honorary Members:
A Clayton
M Finney
D Ratcliffe
M West

Hebden Bridge Round Table is a group of young men who meet for friendship, fun and to help others in the local community.
Hebden Bridge Round Table draws members from all along the Calder Valley: from Hebden Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Luddenden and Luddenden Foot.
Neighbouring Tables are Halifax, Elland and Huddersfied. We welcome membership enquiries from men aged between 18 and 45.
Round Table's sister organisation, Ladies' Circle welcomes membership enquiries from women aged between 18 and 45.
A big thank you to all our
2011 Bonfire Supporters:

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