It started so innocently. The first meeting of the new year would involve Tablers bringing any interactive or game like Christmas gifts to show and share. Wouldn’t some food be a good idea? A couple of Tablers made pies for everyone to share and as Simon said, “before you know it, it’s got competitive, but in the nicest and funniest way.”
So now, every year when January rolls round it’s oven gloves on and time to push the Tabler’s culinary talents to the limit at the Great Isle of Wight Round Table Pie Off.
I was interested to know what the “Pie Off” rules might be as I have noticed a very open and flexible approach to much of the things Table does. “To qualify as a pie it has to have both a pastry top and base, yeah, that’s about it, that’s the only rule”
The Pies are laid out across the tables and all carefully viewed before being cut, shared and tasted. Past pies have included Full English Breakfast, Baked Bean, Curry and even a pie that included Rustlers Burgers! “Depending on the year and what is going on for people they will have more or less time to spend on their creations, but everyone joins in, it’s really inclusive.”
“It’s probably the funniest night of the year, there is so much banter and though some pies would be best not repeated, others are amazing. Every member has two votes, one for the look of the pie, and one for the taste and eventually, after a lot of fun and laughter we end up with a winner.”
This seems to me to be an excellent example of the “playfulness” that seems central to the character of RTBI. The ability of Table members to take on tasks and develop activities that are about having fun together. They are often also about doing good for others, supporting or encouraging other people but they recognise and value fun and laughter, sharing their triumphs and failures and recognising that an ability to find laughter in even the darkest moments can be enough to lift them.
I asked Simon about his involvement with Table and he explained that his uncle had previously been a Table member so when his job moved him to Malton and he didn’t know anyone he reached out to the local Table and quickly got involved. When work brought him to the Isle of Wight he was able to transfer and once again benefited from a ready-made group of friends, a real sense of community and a brilliant space for personal and professional development. Members are able to learn from the tasks and activities they are involved in but also from each other, sharing experience, understanding and practical skills from communication and presentation to planning and logistics.
“Members are from all walks of life but there is a huge level of trust, respect and generosity. Tablers are able to really rely on each other.”
And that extends to other national and international Tables. “We host our equivalent German Table every other year, and they us. We stay in each other’s homes and learn so much from this experience.
Round Table (RTBI) is a national association of local young man / men's club for those aged between 18 and 45. RTBI supports charities, the local community and its individual members through friendship and brotherhood. As part of the Round Table Family, RTBI is an inclusive organisation open to all individuals no matter their age or gender identification. To find out more visit our FAQs page or Contact Us.