David Jolly RIP

Lessons Learned: A Message from the IDE President

Dear Members,

In my speech at last year’s AGM, I mentioned the importance of collaborating and working together to improve standards throughout our industry. I also encouraged us all to be open and honest about reporting incidents and sharing best practice. I plan to lead by example during my tenure as your president.

AR Demolition is a company which places great emphasis on safe working environments – for our staff, subcontractors, client personnel and the general public, both in and around our project sites. Demolition by its nature can be a highly dangerous and risk-filled sector and our endeavour is to minimise or eliminate the many risks at every stage of our complex processes.

However, despite our rigorous approach incidents do happen and we recently experienced one such incident at a project site in Nottingham. Click on the following link to read all about it HSE alert No… underground voids v1.

Fortunately no one was hurt but we are working with our client to undergo a full investigation. In the meantime, I wanted to share our initial views on the incident – and lessons to learn.

It’s precisely because we have such a focus on safety that I want to share this with you. We should all be honest in our reporting and diligent in our approach to standards. That way, we can collectively improve safety across the sector and raise the profile of the industry as a whole..

Please feel free to contact me or discuss among the members.

With best wishes,

Richard Dolman FIDE, IDE President


Make 2021 a more positive year and gain a qualification

Demolition Expo and Letsrecycle Live rescheduled to 15-16 September 2021

In light of the ongoing pandemic, co-located events Demolition Expo and Letsrecycle Live have been rescheduled to 15-16 September 2021 at NAEC Stoneleigh, Coventry.

The showcase exhibition and conference event for the demolition, waste and recycling sectors takes place every two years and was due to be held in May 2021. Now with uncertainty continuing around the holding of events in the first part of the year, the September date has been confirmed by the organisers.

Howard Button, CEO at NFDC, said “It is with heavy heart that we have collectively made the decision to postpone the eagerly anticipated Demolition Expo, but Safety is paramount and common sense must prevail during these times. With a new September date to look forward to, we continue to work closely with the team at Letsrecycle Live to create an exciting show for exhibitors, visitors and the connected industries to remember. We’d like to thank Demolition Expo exhibitors and supporters for their understanding.” 

Rob Mowat, Director at Environment Media Group – the team behind Letsrecycle Live – said, “Following consultations with key stakeholders, the show has been rescheduled until after the summer holiday period. While there is cautious optimism surrounding the vaccination programme, the health and safety of visitors, exhibitors and the wider community remains our number one priority.  

We are pleased to confirm the new dates which also allow us time to further develop the show and increase its overall size. This allows more space for exciting show features such as new arenas for demonstrations and more indoor and outdoor exhibition areas which cater for the increased demand for space we have experienced. We would like to thank our visitors, exhibitors and partners for their support and patience and look forward to welcoming everyone in September.” 

Demolition Expo and Letsrecycle Live are free to attend and will offer two action-packed days of seminars, demonstrations and networking. The indoor and outdoor setting at Stoneleigh provides a unique environment to learn, socialise and build lasting business relationships with other industry professionals.

More than 3,000 visitors and 160 exhibitors attended the inaugural event in 2019 with over 5,000 visitors and 250 exhibitors anticipated at the 2021 event.

The event is organised by the Environment Media Group, parent company of leading news and information provider for the waste and recycling sector, letsrecycle.com

More information on Demolition Expo and Letsrecycle Live can be found via the websites: demoexpo2021.com and www.letsrecycle.live

Author: Natalie Barlow, NFDC

Christmas Message

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: https://www.engineeringuk.com/research/briefings/our-careers-our-future-stem-careers-provision-and-young-people/ 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. www.engineeringuk.com

For more information, visit www.tomorrowsengineers.org.uk/teweek.


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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