Eight Northumberland Avenue in central London was the prestigious venue chosen to host the 2017 Institute of Demolition Engineers AGM, Luncheon and Awards Ceremony.

As is now the norm, the sell out event was well attended and saw IDE President, David Darsey enter his second term at the helm of the Institute. The past 12 months has seen great changes taking place with a huge step forward with the introduction of the World’s first Demolition Degree.

Mr Darsey opened the morning’s proceedings by announcing an increase in membership over the past 12 months taking the membership to over 400 individuals. Moving on to the Demolition Degree, Mr Darsey was extremely proud to announce that over 20 applications have been made for the first part of the course which was due to start in January but had been postponed until September. Thanking the members for their charitable donations during the past year and successfully supporting the Helen Allison School, Mr Darsey reported the Institute, its members and the NFDC had jointly raised over £30,000 for their cause. Mr Darsey announced his chosen charity for this year will be one closer to his heart, the Niemann-Pick Type C Charity which help both children and adults cope with the disease which causes the build up of toxic materials in the body.

Regional meetings have been very well attended over the past year as were the Spring and Autumn Seminars, both bringing in well received revenue and feedback from all who attended. Mr Darsey commented briefly on DemoExpo 2017 stating the event, although lighter on footfall, was attended by the right people and hopes that changes for the proposed 2019 event will be beneficial for this show. Closing his address with huge thanks to the Council of Management and staff at the IDE, Mr Darsey announced a small increase in subscription fees across the board for 2018.

Reporting on the accounts for the Institute, Stuart Accleton spoke about a decrease in income over the past 12 months mainly down to hosting the 40th Anniversary event. “This will not be replicated and an increase in membership costs along with forward booking from sponsors for the upcoming seminars will see the financial status of the Institute regained.”

Both Dr Terry Quarmby and Richard Dolman have been instrumental in the setting up of the Demolition Degree with Wolverhampton University. Further to David Darsey announcing a delay for the inaugural course to commence, Dr Quarmby started by offering an apology for the delay in commencing the Diploma course before saying the Institute were extremely disappointed not be starting in January as planned. The MSc course has already been started with 17 students in place. Further meetings have taken place with the University now coming back and offering to award a Foundation Degree should certain criteria be met. The awarding of a Foundation Degree will see the level of the Demolition degree be increased and means the modules can now be delivered in-house over a 2-year period, one per month. Although the modules will incur an extra amount of work to be undertaken, it will not be excessive and will be, in the main, work based. “We have come a long way in such a short space of time and hope that members will support the Institute in every way possible to make this World first a success.” commented Dr Quarmby. “This is something everyone of our clients will have to sit up and take notice of. There is a huge gap in what we are now able to offer as opposed to what we were able to offer previously.” Richard Dolman added; “40 hours of contact time is now included, which is essentially doing your day job before taking the 8-hour paper, but the end result is a globally recognised degree.”

Election results for council members were next with a disappointingly low return of votes being questioned. Despite the low return, Howard Button, Richard Dolman and Mark Jack were re-elected with Mike Kehoe and Grant Styles running very close. Stuart Accleton was again voted in as Treasurer.

Rounding off the AGM came a plea from our armed forces. With the increase in terror threat to our country, the need to train on a variety of scenarios is now of utmost importance. Staff Sergeant Dino Dallat asked the members for their assistance in locating suitable structures, buildings and locations on which to practice their methods of operation. The services have a dedicated training centre at which they can undertake a certain amount of practice session but the ability to undertake real life scenarios in different locations means the service is expertly prepared to defend our country. “The good will of demolition companies assisting in offering structures, buildings and locations for our use will mean we can undertake a wide range of training scenarios. We will be fully insured and work with you to minimise any disruption to your site.”

Following lunch, David Darsey hosted a charity auction to raise funds for his charity and thanks to the huge generosity of both the providers of some extremely generous prizes and the kindness of the guests at putting their hands in their pockets, almost £20,000 was raised on the day. Mr Darsey took the time to thank everyone for their generosity saying “Despite our commercial differences, we are all family and it is good to see that any differences are put aside to help those less fortunate than ourselves.”

The day was suitably completed by Mr Darsey handing out certificates to new and progressing members of the institute.

Congratulations to the following members who received a certificate of recognition:

Associates (AMIDE): Oliver Barby, Sean Coleman, Ross Craig, Gary Cross, Thomas Egerton, Scott Exell, Derek Feely, Ernesto Flores, David Foley, Michael Freeley, Jonathan Gill, David Jennings, Simon King, Peter Lilburn, Daniel MacKInlay, Mark Mates, Stuart McGregor, Paul Millar, Mathew Mowat, Bjorn Parker, Trevor Parratt, Damien Pick, Ian Skillings, Iain Sneddon, Richard Speake, Richard Taylor, Razvan Tibil, Fernando Vinagre, Daniel Wheeler, David Willcott and Peter Williams.

Full Members (MIDE):  Andrew Barnes, Tim Coppin, Andrew Crawford, Aiden Healy, Dylan Lovelock, Stephen McAleenan, David Murray, Thomas O’Connell, Carl Payne, Edward Pugh and Nicholas Ward.

 A copy of the minutes taken at the AGM can be downloaded here AGM-minutes-2017