Popular Presentations makes IDE Southern Regional meeting a Rousing Success

Last week saw the inaugural meeting of the IDE Southern Regional meeting, hosted by Council of Management member Toby Comley MIDE, in collaboration with the team at LDH Attachments, who provided the venue for the gathering at their HQ in Bordon.

The 36 IDE members and non-members were greeted with refreshments, including a tasty selection of vegan sandwiches and had the opportunity to network with other industry professionals in a relaxed setting.

With the meeting in full swing the presentations began with Roel van Oirschot of DEHACO talking about dust suppression units and David Hearne then displaying a “Terra 60 Dust Suppression Unit” in action. Toby Comley stated “the presentations were very interesting and well received by the guests present.  A highlight was when Jim O’Sullivan MIDE took the stage with his very interesting presentation on the “Mega Crane” at Earls Court, where he explained the complexities in building the largest crane in Europe on an inner city project and lift 1200 tonne concrete beams over underground tube lines.  Multiple questions then followed for Jim and one attendee commented that “it was the best presentation he had seen in a long time”.”

With the presentations complete the attendees had an opportunity to network further over a selection of delicious vegan cakes.

Toby added: “The event was very enjoyable and well supported by IDE members and non-members alike.  Thank you especially to LDH Attachments and to all that attended and made the event a success.  We look forward to this event being in the calendar every year”

Author: Toby Comley MIDE



Nancy’s Night Out

On the 16th June, Erith Contractors held an exquisite black tie Charity Ball at No.8 Northumberland Avenue, in aid of Niemann-Pick UK (NPUK) – for a cause dear to their hearts, they hosted a night to remember for a beautiful, strong and inspiring little girl and others just like her.

David Darsey and family welcomed David’s granddaughter, Nancy, into the world on the 4th November 2016.  However, the family received the devastating news that Nancy had Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare, life limiting, genetic disorder that mostly affects children.  To this day there remains no cure or effective treatment.

Taking action, Erith Contractors sought out NPUK, a UK registered Charity to show their support to the outstanding work they put in to help families of those affected by this heart-breaking disease.  In an effort to drive forward awareness of NPUK they held a fundraising ball in honour of the Charity.

Erith invited family, friends and many valued business colleagues to attend the event, all united in the fight against Niemann-Pick Type C.  They were overwhelmed by the turnout and support shown on the night.  A spokesperson for Erith said “we are extremely thankful to the Institute of Demolition Engineers who donated a heart-warming donation of £10,000 to the cause.  The night was a huge success and we, at Erith Contractors, donated a further £80,000 to NPUK, helping them to remain a driving force for the Niemann-Pick community”.

NPUK displayed their sincere gratitude for the tremendous donations received at the charity ball commenting “your generosity will help us to provide much needed care and support for the families affected by Niemann-Pick disease and to facilitate research into this devastating condition in the hope of finding effective treatments and ultimately a cure”.

Erith Contractors would like to reiterate their immense gratitude to all attendees and donors.  In addition to the £90,000 raised by the IDE and Erith Contractors, over £60,000 was raised on the night through ticket sales, table sales and auctions.  The final account is still to be determined with many people still sending very appreciated donations.



This is Demolition and Scifest

The Institute of Demolition Engineers (IDE) has recently been represented at two events organised and hosted by the Wolverhampton University Faculty of Science and Engineering in partnership with Environment Technologies and Resource Efficiency Support Service (EnTRESS).

On Friday 29th June 2018 “This is Demolition” was held at Wolverhampton University ECMS Springfield Campus.  Dr Paul Hampton (Head of the Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton) introduced the event.

The event was well attended by over 70 delegates interested in learning more about Demolition and the two new degree courses currently available: The Foundation Degree in Demolition Management and the current MSc Demolition Management.

University of Wolverhamptons Jackie Dunne (Deputy Vice-Chancellor Access & Lifelong Learning) and IDE President, David Darsey FIDE, FRSA signed the agreement for the new ground-breaking Foundation Degree.

On Saturday the 7th July 2018 the sun was shining in the courtyard at Wolverhampton University for the annual “Scifest” event.  The day was extremely well attended by young people and their families.  The IDE was again represented by IDE Council of Management member Richard Dolman FIDE at the Education Day.  Richard was able to pass on his passion for all things Demolition to the next generation.  The Demolition Simulator was a great hit with the young people attending and some of the Mums and Dads! A great atmospher topped off with a great result for the England Football team.


‘Oar-inspiring’ effort sees Erith and others raise over £35k for local charity

The Erith Group were delighted to support Greenwich-based charity, The Ahoy Centre, in their annual ‘50km in a day’ challenge.

This past Saturday’s event saw nine nautical newcomers to rowing take to the River Thames and race each other from the Meridian line to the QE2 Bridge and back again. After a gruelling four hours, one minute and twenty-eight seconds, our formerly fresh-faced rowers were almost too tired to celebrate their hard-fought victory, (judging by Warren’s face the in picture below), but most did manage a smile!

All this friendly competition saw the event raise over £35,000 for the Ahoy Centre. Such a sizable contribution will enable the group to continue their worthy work; helping disadvantaged children, vulnerable youngsters and those with disabilities gain access educational courses, qualifications and life-skills training.

The Erith Group thanks ‘Up Ship Creek’, (Mark, Lee, Chris, Warren, Guy, Natalie and Rob), for continuing our portfolio of charitable causes, as well as their winning effort!

An exhausted Mark Jack commented: “It was a great team effort and a fantastic day. Even though we ended up with a few blisters and some sore backs, we got a huge sense of achievement knowing that we have been able to help this great charity that works with disadvantaged, vulnerable and disabled young people. The whole team was thrilled to support the charity and the day was topped off by our unexpected win.”

Author: John Rasch, Erith Group

 The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers. 

The IDE Foundation Degree in Demolition Management

Enrol now to be one of the first to be a part of this wonderful opportunity  Foundation Enrolment Pack 2018

Support Trailwalker 2018

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For the second year running Dylan Lovelock MIDE has put together a team to raise money for the Gurkha Trust. Dylan who has been a member of the IDE since 2012 has been dedicating his time to this very worthwhile challenge which involves a team of four people hiking 100km across the South Downs within 30 hours. It is a very physically and mentally demanding event. If you would like to support him please click on the following links for more information:   



Spring Seminar 23rd February 2018: Royal Armouries Leeds

The Institute of Demolition Engineers returned to their traditional Spring Seminar location of the Leeds Royal Armouries for yet another sell out event.  Both in terms of companies wanting to show off their products and industry professionals attending for the excellent range of speakers, the venue was packed yet again.

President David Darsey welcomed everyone to Leeds before thanking them for their tremendous generosity in raising funds for his chosen charity; Niemann Pick UK. During the last AGM in London, the kindness of both IDE and NFDC members had jointly raised £20,000 to help children and adults with this debilitating disease. David welcomed NPUK Chief Executive Toni Mathieson to give the audience a brief overview of the charity and its work before presenting her with a cheque for £10,000.

The first speaker of the day was Andrew Dyson who gave a talk on Erith’s project to demolish Hull PowerStation. The extremely detailed talk took in the need for the company’s care and consideration for the demolition process as this was the first power station with hanging boilers to be demolished since the Didcot disaster. Thanks to the massive resources available to the company in both technical engineering, plant and experience, the project went off without a hitch. What was surprising to both the Erith team and the audience was the lack of interest paid to the project by the HSE considering its nature and similarities to Didcot.   

Curtins’ Russell Bowman took to the stage to speak about the issues faced by demolition contractors when it comes to UXO (Un-exploded Ordnance). Curtins Presentation UXO Apart from the usual hazards taken into account when excavating land such as services and voids, the probability of exposing UXO is extremely high, particularly in inner city locations. Whilst the UK still maintains a zero casualty record when exposing ordnance, the patchy hazard assessment and risk assessing of UXO still remains. According to official figures, there are over 40 calls per month for the military to deal with varying types of UXO.    

Stephen Andrew, ABB Ltd.’s Demolition and Decommissioning Manager arrived to speak about the issues faced by his organisation when awarded a contract to demolish a series of petrol stations. The small number of contracts soon ballooned to over 500 locations around the country. Stephen spoke about the issues faced with the organisation and logistics involved in delivering extremely tight programs in often highly urbanised locations. “Dealing with the proximity of the public is always a difficult situation but more so was the garage operator who, once the forecourt was closed to commence the work, would be placing orders for items to be delivered in a few weeks’ time with no thought of issues arising with the works.” During the contracts over 2000 tanks were removed, 100km of bore holes drilled and 2 million tonnes of hazardous material treated.   

As market leader in their particular sector of the demolition industry, Able UK’s Neil Etherington was on hand to describe how his company undertake some of the largest projects in the country. Talking specifically about their work on the Shell Brent oilfield, Neil spoke about the huge infrastructure operations involved in preparing their docks at Seaton to receive some of the largest top decks ever made. Where rigs where once broken down at sea into smaller component parts, recent innovations in lifting and cargo carrying saw the Shell Brent platforms being dismantled in a single piece at sea and barged to Seaton for full decommissioning and dismantling. The work undertaken at Seaton includes a 306m long quay with a capacity of 60t/m2.   

The issue of noise, dust and vibration monitoring was discussed by Casella’s Shaun Knott.  Shaun spoke about the way in measurement of these hazards has been made easier by the introduction and development of easier monitoring methods. Whilst measuring these hazards is far easier, there is still the requirement to inform employees about the issues and protect them with the appropriate PPE at all times.

Following the break for lunch, Comedian John Ryan spoke about the often taboo subject of mental health. Often the subject of ridicule, John spoke about the need for the issue to be brought out into the open and spoken about. “Talking can make things easier for anyone involved with mental health.” With some very good audience participation, John spoke about the need for everyone to look out for their own and others mental health. “We  can all see a physical issue with colleagues, it is the unseen mental issues that we must also look out for.”

Regular IDE Seminar speaker, Wayne Bagnall was next to the stage to talk about the hidden issues of asbestos within reinforced concrete. Wayne Bagnall Ltd_Asbestos in RC for IDE Leeds rev01_ 23.2.18 While surveys can identify asbestos which can be seen or sampled, there are serious issues with asbestos being hidden within concrete structures. Wayne first faced this issue when a survey he was undertaking found that the mesh reinforcement chairs within a concrete slab were manufactured from asbestos. Whilst later resin or plastic chairs are clear, the smaller versions had fallen over during the pour and were just about visible at ceiling level. Standard demolition methods would have processed the chair into the concrete in the slab resulting in a contaminated product. The demolition team therefore had to find and mark as many of these chairs and process around them which became excessively time consuming.

Closing the busy day Dr John Henry Looney and Kris Atkins from Gloucestershire based consultancy, Sustainable Solutions Ltd who were on hand to talk about the use of BIM, Building Information Modelling, in deconstruction projects. Sustainable Direction DRIM Presentation The use of BIM in designing and building virtually all major projects in the UK has been prevalent over the last decade but its use in assisting with the latter stages of a building’s life has never been brought to attention. With the drive towards recycling and reuse, the belief is that BIM should be used to create buildings which are able to be recycled, rather than simply demolished.

The day was rounded off with David Darsey thanking everyone for their attendance, the great speakers and reminding everyone of the IDE Scottish Seminar on the 6th of July at The Royal Society of Edinburgh.

Author and Photographs courtesy of: Paul Argent, RPA Photography



The content of this article represents the personal views of the author and nothing is to be taken as representing the views, opinions, policy or position of any other persons or organisations mentioned herein or of the Institute of Demolition Engineers.


IDE Christmas Closure

IDE AGM and Annual Luncheon 2017

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

An Evening with George Clarke

On Monday 16th October Council of Management member Mark Jack was invited to represent the IDE at Wolverhampton University where he attended an Evening with George Clarke.

The Event was held in the University of Wolverhampton’s newly refurbished Chancellor’s Hall, within the iconic Wulfruna Building.  Attending the event were Architectural firms, education providers, Local Government and various businesses.
The evening was opened by Professor Nazira Karrodia (Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering) who spoke about the New Springfield Campus. The new campus which is being constructed on the former Springfield brewery site is being transformed into Europe’s largest specialist construction and built environment campus bringing together businesses and the education sector to maximise impact on the economy. Since its purchase in 2014, the derelict site has been rejuvenated into a centre of excellence for construction and the built environment, delivering an unbeatable skills pathway for construction education and training from the age of 14 to senior professionals all designed to address the national skills shortage of engineers and construction workers.

George Clarke was next on stage and spoke about how he became an architect, his apprenticeship, his current architectural businesses and how he got into TV. George also spoke about his educational, research and development organisation MOBI (Ministry of Building Innovation), MOBI’s mission is to inspire new generations in to the building profession and fundamentally transform the way we think, design and construct homes both in the UK and abroad.

Mark commented “I spent the evening chatting with some Architects from BM3 who were sat on my table discussing modern architecture and trying to convince them that there is a need to consider demolition when designing buildings of the future, the evening was both informative and enjoyable.”

The IDE would like to thank Wolverhampton University for their kind invitation to this event.