What is 41 Club?

The Association of Ex-Round Tablers’ Clubs (41 Club) is part of the ‘Round Table Family of Clubs’ comprising Round Table, 41 Club, Ladies Circle, and Tangent (the Club for ex-Circlers).

In March 1927, a young Rotarian by the name of Louis Marchesi became aware of the lack of opportunities for the young businessman of the day to meet and prepare themselves for their responsibilities as senior businessmen of later years. Being a member of Norwich Rotary Club he found himself surrounded by older men, so he started a club for young men in the age range of 28 to 40 to give them the right environment to develop their professional and civic skills whilst assisting the local community, the nation and later the world as whole.

Round Table was formed after being inspired by a speech by the then Prince of Wales who said- “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.

Originally, membership of Round Table was limited to men in the age range of 18 – 40 years, so that following his 40th birthday, a member of Round Table would have to retire. He was then eligible to join The Association of Ex-Tablers’ Clubs. In 1998 Round Table raised the age limit to 45 and so it is now possible for a member of Round Table to also be a member of 41 Club.

Three years after the formation of Round Table, an equivalent women’s club was formed called Ladies Circle (known today as Circle) Since 1993, Circle has an open membership and accepts not only partners of Tablers and Ex-Tablers but any women in the age range of 18 to 45.

Tangent is the equivalent club for Ex-Tablers partners and their first club met in 1953.

Currently, there are some 23,000 declared members of 41 Club and it continues to assist Round Table in all of its activities and also Circle and Tangent, the other two members of the Round Table Family.

Last edited 11 November 2018


Who are we?

We are a Club with about 50 something members who meet regularly once a month for speaker meetings, the occasional devious quiz, discussions, outside meetings, barbeques in the summer, and generally trying to keep Shirley Round Table in order.


We also have our annual challenge match against Shirley Table taking part in something vaguely sporty (for example skittles or bowls), although not too strenuous. After all, we wouldn't want to tire out the youngsters, would we! This is known as the Cec Crossley Trophy (Cec is pronounced "Sess") and the holders have to organise next years event.


About Shirley Late Knights

Shirley Late Knights is the registered name for Shirley 41 Club, and we meet regularly every first Thursday of the month. Our main meeting place is the St. John's Hotel in Solihull.

Our club was formed in about 1960 by those members of
Shirley Round Table who had already had to "move on" due to the age rule. Shirley Round Table itself had only formed in 1955 but by now was a thriving organisation.

The 41'ers applied for affiliation to the 41 Club Organisation and this was granted on 24th April 1961.

From then on the members have maintained a strong Club and forged an extremely good relationship with
Shirley Round Table, and all members are (mostly!!) welcome at any of their meetings. There is usually the odd bit of helpful encouragement at their business meetings, often revolving around the phrase "it wasn't like this in MY day!"