By Roy Peary, North West Section Treasurer
The North West Section’s Christmas Lunch, held on 12 December, was definitely one of the Section’s best ever social events. Over 180 members and guests enjoyed the annual charity lunch held at the Mercure Blackburn Dunkenhalgh Hotel and Spa, a beautiful 700-year-old country manor, set in the Lancashire countryside.
After the usual networking, the attendees were treated to a three course meal and then sat back to listen to the witty after dinner speaker Dennis Taylor. Dennis is a BBC commentator, a retired snooker professional and world champion and recent resident of reality TV show The Real Marigold Hotel.
The guests included IGEM’s CEO Neil Atkinson, who outlined the importance of the gas industry supply chain coming together so vibrantly to network. He added that “close collaboration will be essential as the industry moves forward to embrace new technology, something that IGEM is facilitating strongly through its work on gas quality and standards, and the development of gas engineering competency.”
The event hosted the Section’s annual charity raffle, held in memory of former IGEM North West Section Chair Bill Maclean. This year, the event raised over £2,000, with the beneficiaries being two local charities, the Pendleside Hospice and Blessings in Disguise.
Katie Holt, from children’s charity Blessings in Disguise, said: “A huge cash gift like this will make a massive difference to a small charity like ours. I am so grateful for all the generous donations.”
Tommy Knott, North West Section Chair, said: “I can’t remember such a high attendance rate - a great result for the Section. I’m really pleased with it and thought it was a great success with some very positive feedback from the sponsors too.”
The Section would like to thank all its sponsors, whose support helped to make the event so special: AVK, Buckhurst Plant, Cadent, Fastflow, Future Energy Group, Lloyds Register, Long O’Donnell Associates Limited, MCA Fusion Hire & Repair, Morgan Sindall, National Grid, Peak Pipe Systems, PSS Hire, Radius Systems, Simkiss, Utilise TDS Limited.
Additional raffle prize donations were gratefully received from ALH Systems, Pipeline Integrity Engineers and Steve Vick International.