The culmination of endless calls and emails by the United Kingdom Society for Trenchless Technology (UKSTT) offices at Leamington Spa, and the ever increasing support from members and their associates, along with record numbers of entries, ensured the whole evening was a real success.

A success not just for the winners and short listed entries but all the entrants feeling able and willing to prepare submissions for their projects or innovations for independent scrutiny by the panels of judges in a bid to promote their efforts to their colleagues in particular and the industry in general.

When addressing nearly 200 members and their guests, UKSTT chairman Colin Tickle offered his thanks to all the society’s committee members for their support and hard work, finding time to particularly thank Val Chamberlain for all her efforts in general and her additional work, in Claire Gowdy’s maternity leave absence, in bringing the whole awards event together. Steve Kaminik was thanked for editing and auditing all the presentation material for the evening.

While thanking all the sponsors of various aspects of the evening Tickle offered thanks to the evenings main sponsors: South West Water and Waterflow Plc.

Colin commented on the work of the society throughout the year with references to the most successful program of road show’s so far in the society’s history, the expanded program of university undergraduate lectures throughout the country and in particular the support from John De Rosa and Sandra Rolfe Dickenson with the undergraduate lectures at Brunel University, the work by members on various national bodies and committees as well as the program of trade show appearances to promote the society’s work.

He also reminded members and guests of the forthcoming biennial ‘No Dig Live’ Exhibition and Conference at Stoneleigh on Oct. 5-7, with the associated plans for free breakfast seminars combined with the largest live demonstration arena in Europe.

Patrons also got a mention with appreciation for the support the society enjoys from these vital champions of the industry in particular welcoming the new Patrons for the current year – United Utilities, Severn Trent Water, and National Grid.

Tickle praised the quality and number of entrants for the awards thanking the judges and coordinators for all their time so generously given and was delighted to report another record number of entries.

Conducted by Toastmaster and Master of Ceremonies Norman Brown, the evening got off to informed introductions of the short listed entrants, as well as a presentation from Chris Packham, with this year’s animal surprise ‘friend’ turning out to be an American Bald Headed Eagle. With a wingspan of well over 2 m. Packham needed full arm protection and had clearly needed to be in training to manage the huge bird of prey throughout his talk.

In recognition of Packham’s long-term and ongoing association with the society, Tickle announced that Packham had accepted the UKSTT’s invitation to become an honorary ‘Patron of the Society,’ and he made a presentation to Packham of a model impact mole and certificate to mark the event.

Tickle closed by thanking everyone for their support, wishing them well for 2010, and reminding them of next year’s already planned awards dinner on April 15. 2011.
 
The Chairman’s chosen charity for the awards dinner raffle was the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund. Close to Tickle’s heart, having served 17 years in the RAF and been personally involved in the Falklands and first Gulf wars, on his return he witnessed the work that is put in by the charity to support serving personal and their families, and so was delighted to introduce Group Captain Geoff Ware, Regional Director of the RAFBF who spoke briefly but effectively on behalf of the charity. The raffle for a digital camera, donated by UKSTT, raised nearly £1,250.

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