IDE 44th Annual General Meeting: 27th November 2020

The 44th Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Demolition Engineers was held, for the first time ever, by Zoom Video Conference on the 27th of November 2020.

Thanks to the impact of the Covid pandemic, and the cancellation of almost the entire year’s diary of events, the Council of Management took the decision to carry on with the internet based event.

The AGM saw President Gary Bishop step aside, with Richard Dolman taking over the Presidency for the forthcoming two years.  In thanking the Council of Management, Membership and the staff at Eagle Court for their help and assistance over the past two years, Bishop said he was upset that the year which started off with great expectations and optimism for the industry has ended in such a way. He went on to add that despite an excellent Spring Seminar at the Royal Armouries in Leeds, the remainder of the year’s events had been cancelled or transferred to virtual meetings, thankfully with great success. Bishop spoke of two major retirements from the Institutes Council with Terry Quarmby and David Darsey stepping away from their duties. Bishop was quick to thank the long-term veterans of the Institute for all of their hard work in pushing both the Institute and the wider demolition world onto bigger and better things.

On the subject of membership, Bishop was disappointed that the year hadn’t seen an increase in membership but in a sentiment echoed by by many within the industry, he was very pleased with the ongoing Foundation and Masters degrees, congratulation everyone who had successfully completed both courses.

Gary also welcomed back Maureen Tong-Ralphs to the part time position of National Secretary saying that her return to the fold whilst living in France was working out very well.

In closing, Bishop said it was an honour and a privilege to have served the Institute and offered his full support as outgoing President to his successor.

With many events cancelled and the possibility of Leeds in 2021 suffering the same fate, Treasurer Stuart Accleton spoke about a drop in the financial reserves of the Institute. Despite the reduction in income over the past year, Accleton was buoyant about the overall financial status of the Institute. With the impact of the pandemic hitting the industry, Accleton advised the Zoom audience that there will be no increase in membership fees for 2021. Accleton was also keen to alay member’s fears over the inability to gain CPD hours this year saying that concessions have been made with a review to take place at the first Council of Management meeting in 2021.

Incoming President Richard Dolman spoke about the huge success over the last 12 months for the Institute and the wider demolition industry with the Foundation and Masters degree courses. With the retirement of Dr Terry Quarmby from the Institute, Dolman announced that Stephen McCann will be stepping in to take over the educational role left by Quarmby. Dolman also said that the next cohort of students will be insitu by March with the course initially taking place online. It was also announced that the Institute will offer bursaries for both the Foundation and Masters courses next year. Dolman also spoke of the potential to offer shorter training courses with the emphasis on upskilling the existing demolition workforce.

There was a call for members to submit their work for the Best Paper award with the Institute offering a prize of £500 for the winner. The submitted papers will also be used to build a library of knowledge within the industry.

Whilst the recent US elections caused all sorts of controversy, the recent IDE elections went without a hitch with Richard Dolman succeeding Gary Bishop in the President’s seat. Vernon Watson was elected as Vice President whilst Howard Button, Toby Comley,  Duncan Rudall, Grant Styles  and Stephen McCann were elected to the committee. Stuart Accleton was again elected as treasurer.

Following a virtual swapping of the Presidential chain, Richard Dolman spoke about the impact the virus has had on both private and professional lives over the past year. He said he was extremely proud of the way the industry has responded and adapted under the circumstances enabling work to carry on  under constantly changing rules. For 2021 Dolman spoke about the need to collaborate and continue to improve standards across the industry. Whilst the diary for 2021 is still to be confirmed, Dolman spoke about further online discussions which had proved popular during the lockdown period. The call for potential speakers for these events was also made with Dolman reminding the membership that the Institute is happy to pay for the speaker’s services. Despite the ongoing success of the Foundation and Masters degree courses, there was a call to promote the courses outside the industry within personal networks and to schools and colleges with the need to communicate the benefits of a career within the industry. Dolman also called for more transparency and honesty within the demolition industry as a whole with a call for more sharing of information on near misses, incident reporting and best practices. He went on to say that he would like to explore the possibility of a forum for the confidential sharing of this information.

Rounding off his address Dolman thanked outgoing President Gary Bishop for captaining the ship over the last two years with a call to attract the best talent to the industry. “There is experience and knowledge in our Institute which you simply cannot find anywhere else and I would like to see that promoted more widely.”

Minutes of the Meeting are available here: AGM-minutes-2020

To listen to a recording of the Meeting click here:

Bursary Opportunities with the IDE


Tomorrow’s Engineers Week, now in its eighth year, has come to a close with the announcement of a new online hub to provide information and guidance to those organisations supporting and inspiring young people into engineering careers.

The new online resource, due to go live later this month, will provide free advice and guidance, sourced from across the engineering community, to support practitioners in providing young people with engineering careers inspiration. The site will cover a range of topics, from suggestions on how to ensure an inclusive approach and develop engaging outreach activities to ways to survey young people.

The hub is also expected to provide support to signatories and supporters of the new Tomorrow’s Engineers Code which was launched in October and is now managed by EngineeringUK.

The Code is  a new approach to engagement, with Professional Engineering Institutions, FTSE 100 corporates, SMEs, government departments and universities working towards common goals to increase the diversity and number of young people entering engineering.  Signatories to the Code make four pledges about their approach to funding, designing, delivering, and learning from engineering-inspiration activities.

The announcement comes after a week of activity designed to address concerns that since March 2020, over three quarters (76%) of 11-19 year olds have not accessed formal careers activities. [1]

A packed calendar saw engineering institutions, employers and schools come together to deliver inspiring activity to show young people the vital importance of engineering careers and deliver advice about how to become an engineer in the future.  Dr Hilary Leevers, Chief Executive of EngineeringUK, commented:

“We would like to thank the thousands of schools, employers and professional engineering institutions that have come together to make Tomorrow’s Engineers Week a huge success.

“Let’s build on this week of collective activity to ensure that all young people get the support they need to be inspired by and understand more about the thousands of future engineering roles available in infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects to upgrade our hospitals, schools and road network, make public buildings greener and help the UK achieve its aspirations of achieving Net Zero by 2050.

“With the framework provided by the Tomorrow’s Engineers Code and the information and guidance shortly available via the online hub, the engineering community will be in a great position to achieve the collective impact needed to see an increase in the number and diversity of young people entering engineering careers.”

[1]“Our Careers, Our Future” is available to download from EngineeringUK: page 4.

EngineeringUK is a not-for-profit organisation, which works in partnership with the engineering community to inspire tomorrow’s engineers and increase the number and diversity of young people choosing academic and vocational pathways into engineering. EngineeringUK leads engagement programmes The Big Bang, Robotics Challenge and Energy Quest, helps schools bring STEM to life through real-world engineering via Neon, creates inspiring engineering careers resources and campaigns through Tomorrow’s Engineers and produces a body of research including the flagship State of Engineering report.

For more information, visit


Louise Akers, 07712273928, [email protected]

Sarah Colombini, 07731462451, [email protected] 

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.

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UK Demolition Expo to co-locate with Letsrecycle Live in 2021

Environment Media Group and the National Federation of Demolition Contractors (NFDC) are delighted to announce that the UK’s Demolition Expo event will be co-locating with Letsrecycle Live in 2021. 

The Demolition Expo is a biennial event showcasing suppliers and businesses within the demolition industry organised by the NFDC.

Around 2,000 visitors attended the last Expo in 2019 in Hertfordshire, where a huge display of demolition machines and equipment including high reach, excavators and skid steers from the world’s leading manufacturers were on show and in action.

Letsrecycle Live also takes place every two years and was established in 2019, where its inaugural show was seen as being successful and well-received. Daniella Jarvie-Thomas, event director for Letsrecycle Live, said the partnership with Demo Expo will mean the Stoneleigh Park event is now on track to grow by more than 50%.  She said: “We’re delighted that such a well-established show in a closely connected industry will be co-locating with Letsrecycle Live in 2021. There are a number of benefits for the visitors and exhibitors of both shows and it will present an unheralded opportunity for cross industry collaboration.

Demo Expo will retain its own identity and we’re really excited to work with the NFDC to begin shaping its own dedicated features and speaker programmes. 

Both events share a vision for creating a business-like, yet relaxed atmosphere, which is conducive to networking and building lasting business relationships. It seemed a natural move to align the two shows. 

Stoneleigh Park, 22nd-23rd May 2019

Letsrecycle Live is on course to grow by more than 50% in 2021, so we’re expecting to see more than 250 businesses and organisations exhibiting at the show. We’ve opened a third exhibition hall to cater for the demand for space and this partnership will help to add value for everyone in attendance.”

Howard Button, CEO for NFDC added, “Demo Expo has been a flagship event for NFDC and the overall demolition industry for many years and we are excited to be co-locating with Letsrecycle Live to bring even more value and benefit to our exhibitors and visitors. As the only show in the UK dedicated solely to demolition, we are committed to ensuring that the Demo Expo brand retains its identity and focus yet embraces the obvious cross-industry synergies this collaboration brings. NFDC is delighted to be joining forces with the like-minded team at Letsrecycle Live and looks forward to taking both events from strength to strength.”

Stoneleigh Park, 22nd-23rd May 2019

The 2021 event, will take place on 12-13 May at the National Agricultural Exhibition Centre (NAEC) in Stoneleigh Park and promises to be a vital addition to the sector’s calendar.

It will feature six sector specific zones stretching across indoor and outdoor areas. The NAEC is a centrally located venue with transport links by road, rail and air.

Free parking is available on site and a free shuttle bus is provided from Coventry station. This flexible and secure venue allows for indoor and outdoor exhibitions, live demonstrations and much, much more.


Covid 19 – Office

We hope you are coping with the current difficulties – our office is shut at the moment, but staff are working from home and a normal service is offered.

We are issuing subscription invoices for 20-21 memberships – this is an administratively lengthy process but they should all be sent to members over the next few days. Given the risks involved with posting over 400 invoices we decided to email them this year and hope this isn’t inconvenient – we really do appreciate your cooperation at this time of unprecedented events. Please do contact me next week if you haven’t had an emailed invoice.

Keep safe


Call for assistance

We have been approached by a member who has contacts at a hospital in Bradford, which has severe shortages of PPE as they treat victims of Covid 19.

If you have surplus supplies of Industrial Disposal PP3 masks they are asking for donations.

Also, we have a report of a lack of suitable changing facilities – if you have an appropriate portable facility for safe changing out of contaminated PPE they would also like to hear from you.

Please contact [email protected] at Bradford if you can help. Alternatively you might want to contact a local hospital.

If members have any other important issues they’d like us to help with, please let us know.