Ringwood & District Round Table 643 was founded originally back in 1959 by a group of local young men who wanted to put back into the community as opposed to keeping on taking. After 40 years of good deeds and founding and running fantastic local events such as the British Pedal Car Grand Prix, our table ceased to exist in 2006. As we fast forward to September 2019, a plan was hatched to see if Ringwood Round Table couldn’t be re-established. With the help of some Round Table veterans, a few friends and a bit of goodwill, an initial meeting managed to attract eight interested young men to see what Round Table was about, and what it could do for them. Very quickly, it became apparent to us all that the question was not what Round Table could do for us, but what we could do for Round Table and with Round Table.

Seven months on from that meeting in the back room of the pub, we present ourselves to you as Ringwood & Verwood Round Table, a group of young men eager to re-establish our Table as a force for good in our local community – New Name, New Faces, same goals! Since “getting the band back together” we have already got ourselves back involved with the Pedal Car Grand Prix, Ringwood Carnival, our towns VE Day celebrations and tree planting in the local area.  We may or may not have even got the 70 trees that we planted recently labelled on Google Maps as “Round Table Woods”. Round Table has already brought us together as a group of new found friends. Our members range from a publican to a butcher, a pilot to a surveyor. We are determined to make our Table a prime example of what Round Table can do in the modern era – Our shared goal is not to become yet another “Social Club”, but to put back into our community and to inspire others to do the same. 

About Round Table

The first Round Table was formed in Norwich, England in 1927. The founder, Louis Marchesi, was a young member of Norwich Rotary Club who felt a need existed for a club where the young business men of the town could gather on a regular basis. At their meetings they could exchange ideas, learn from the experiences of their colleagues and play a collective part in the civic life of Norwich. Within a year of inception the membership of this Round Table had grown to 85 and interest was being shown in establishing Round Tables elsewhere. From a very early stage it was agreed that Round Table would be a non-religious, non-political club and this has continued to this day.

A second Round Table was established in Portsmouth and subsequent growth was rapid, with 125 Tables and a membership of 4,600 by the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. Round Table proved it had international appeal with the first overseas Table formed in Copenhagen in 1936. During the war years Round Table in Denmark continued to expand although in the British Isles activity was restricted and was in the nature of a ‘holding operation’.

After 1945 the pattern of growth was rapidly re-established with Tables being ‘chartered’ all over the UK. The original Ringwood and District Round Table was the 643rd Round Table to be chartered. Today there are just under 1,000 Tables with around 10,000 members. Round Table now flourishes in the majority of European countries, throughout Africa, the Middle East, India, Hong Kong, New Zealand and America. In fact Round Table is represented in every continent of the World. Great things grow from small beginnings.

Our organisation owes nothing to Arthurian Legend, deriving both its title and its maxim from a speech made to the British Industries Fair in 1927 by the then Prince of Wales:

‘The young business and professional men of this country must get together round the table, ADOPT methods that have proved so sound in the past, ADAPT them to the changing needs of the times and wherever possible, IMPROVE them’.

HRH Prince Edward, Prince of Wales

To this day, the phrase “ADOPT, ADAPT, IMPROVE” is a key slogan of the organisation and is often seen on Round Table literature and regalia. The very fact that you see the words that were spoken in 1927 on a web site today proves that this process is still continuing.