SOCIETY PAGE BTS in ebullient mood at 2012 Dinner May 2012
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
The Brewery was once again full to bursting when it hosted the annual black-tie dinner of the British Tunnelling Society for 2012 last Friday evening (11 May). The dining hall was filled to capacity with 69 tables of 10 spread in every direction and into every corner, and the reception room crammed to breathing room only.
Pic 1

Brewery dining room full to bursting

The atmosphere was upbeat and full of reasons to be confident. A run down of the companies hosting tables had among them major project clients as well as leading contractors, consultants, suppliers and other industry organisations. TunnelTalk was again hosted on the Bekaert table.
Interestingly, as well as many corporate and some men-only (shame) tables, several were company tables, designed as a treat for company staff and their partners. This is more in keeping with the original motivation for the dinner; to invite wives and partners to an event and have them feel part of the industry.
Following a champagne reception, sponsored again this year by Halcrow, the throng of guests filled the dining room to enjoy another great meal from the Brewery spring menu. The table cards with the bill of fare was sponsored once again by Hunter Personnel, with print sponsored by AECOM.
TunnelTalk once again sponsored a professional photographer for the evening and the many photos captured by Matt Chung are now available to view and favourites can be ordered via the TunnelTalk order form.
Pic 1

Top table hosted by BTS Chairman Bob Ibell

The after-dinner entertainment opened with an address by Bob Ibell, Chairman of the Society until he hands over to Damian McGirr of Donaldson Associates at the coming May 2012 Annual General Meeting. Ibell highlighted the major projects in London (Crossrail, Lee Tunnel for Thames Water, and station upgrades to London Underground) as well as promise of the high-speed rail HS2 and its reaches of tunneling as reasons for feeling positive for the UK market into the future. He handed over to Tony Price, Associate Dean, Warwick University who explained how the university is working in close cooperation with the BTS to educate the next generation of tunnelling industry professions and providing the venue for the annual BTS Training Course. Warwick is now into the second full year of its MSc course, designed specifically for civil engineers specialising in tunnelling. The BTS Training Course this year will be held on the week of 2-6 July (2012) and application forms are available on the BTS website as is information about the Warwick University MSc course and the very generous bursaries available for allocation to worthy applicants by the BTS.
  • Bob Ibell
  • Tony Price
  • Hugh Dennis
  • From left: Addresses by BTS Chairman Ibell and Tony Price of Warwick University, Hugh Dennis entertained

Entertainment then moved to an engaging and very funny address by comedian Hugh Dennis who didn't fail in being true to his television reputation for having a dry wit.
It was then musical chairs and networking on a grand scale as the night continued both at the Brewery and beyond for everyone who enjoyed a marvellous evening. For next year the BTS organisers have a dilemma – does the event stay at the Brewery and hold the maximum capacity at about 700, or does it move the event to a larger venue to accommodate the many others who would like to be among the guests and swell the numbers towards the 1,000 plus? – and if it does move, to which alternative venue?
  • All dressed up for a party

    All dressed up for a party

  • A company event for celebration

    A company event for celebration

Watch for news well before the next 2013 event. We look forward to seeing everyone there and extend best wishes for a prosperous year in between.
Scheduling for success at Crossrail - TunnelTalk, April 2011
TBM tunnelling underway for Crossrail - TunnelTalk, May 2012
TBMs ready for London sewerage drives - TunnelTalk, February 2012
Major upgrade plans for London's Bank Station - TunnelTalk, November 2011
Extra tunnels seal UK high speed rail approval - TunnelTalk, January 2012
UK MSc course for masters in tunnelling - TunnelTalk, July 2011
British Tunnel Society

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