The new event for everyone's diary was proclaimed at 4pm yesterday by Mr Martin McEvoy, honorary president of the TMB in front of an audience of invited guests, celebrities and tripe lovers from across the country at a meeting at the House of Commons, London.
Mr McEvoy said: "I hereby formally inaugurate World Tripe Day 2013 as the first of what I hope will be many annual celebrations of a wonderful foodstuff that is sadly almost universally reviled in this country, but which we are determined will take its rightful place on the dinner tables and bookshelves of Britain – tripe.”
The audience then joined in singing the Anthem To Tripe And Offal which Mr McEvoy had specially composed to mark the occasion. The gathering had watched a presentation on The History of Tripe in 68 Slides which had been prepared by the TMB's resident historian, Dr Derek J Ripley. Drawing on material from Professor Richard Hawkins' seminal A Brief History of Tripe, the presentation covered the first recorded mention of tripe in 37,987 BC in a cave painting discovered in caves near Oswaldtwistle in 1923 and moved swiftly through to the work done by the TMB to promote tripe over the last few years.
During discussion afterwards, celebrated cartoonist Mr Bill Tidy MBE shared recollections of his work on The Fosdyke Saga, a cartoon strip which ran in the Daily Mirror for many years until it was cruelly axed by noted tripe-hater Robert Maxwell. Mr Tidy kindly donated a cartoon he had drawn to commemorate the first World Tripe Day and this will be auctioned in aid of funds for the Snowdon Trust, a charity that provides financial support to people with disabilities who need help accessing educational opportunities.
Others who were present to share their recollections were Fergus Henderson, owner of the St John restaurant in Smithfield, Radio 4 presenter Susan Rae, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, Karen Buck MP, Roger Williams MP and a number of tripe lovers from across the country who had joined the celebrations.
TMB chairman Sir Norman Wrassle, who was unable to attend the event after he, Dr Ripley and a member of the TMB communications team were detained by security personnel said: "I am delighted the celebration went ahead in my absence without any hitches. From the feedback I have seen, many people seem to have been either bemused or perplexed by the proceedings which is a good deal more than we could have hoped for. This can only bode well for the future."