Members Weekend & AGM 2018

IExpE would like to thank all those in attendance at the 2018 Members Weekend & AGM, With special thanks to Nigel Taylor the day’s Master of Ceremonies, Tony Foster from RFA Security, Andy Hubble from Star Fireworks, Dave Welch from Ramora UK and last but no means Least Tom Goodman and his team from Event Horizon.

From the moment you drove down the Hornbeam tree lined driveway towards the hall, everyone knew they were in for something completely different from all previous events.

The weekend started with a brief introduction from your president Dave Welch who set the tone for the weekend as “to have fun, enjoy the events and take something memorable away with you”.

Tony Foster of RFA Search dogs narrated the first demonstration and his Cocker Spaniel “Jacks” provided a very entertaining search demonstration around the crowded room look for “a test sample”. Jacks very enthusiastically located the sample and was rewarded by his getting his tennis ball to play with

Andy Hubble from Star Fireworks gave an insight into current industry challenges, the effect of social media, his role in promoting the fireworks industry through the British Pyrotechnics Association (BPA).

Dave Welch from Ramora UK press ganged are very own Private Benjamin, Charlene out to the Stafford office and Council member Ruth Barber to attempt an aerobatics class whilst wearing a Mark 9 or 5 EOD operators bomb suits weighing nearly 30 KGs. Too much amusement and encouragement of the attendees both Charlene and Ruth stepped up to the mark whilst we watched them get very hot and sweaty rolling on the floor and then trying to get up off it.

Using an extensive enclosed area of the hotel grounds, Event Horizon transported all the attendees into a “James Bond” film by replicating a scene of a vehicle ambushed by terrorists. They set up a full ambush of a vehicle convoy using mortars, RPGS, assault rifles and IED’s with special effects, explosives (NG cartridges plus black powder) and pyrotechnics to entertain everyone with lots of noise, gunfire and explosions.

Pre-dinner champagne drinks were held in the Hall of Pillars with a small stone chapel to the rear. Numerous couples, parties of guests and council members queued to have their photographs taken by a professional photographer. The black-tie dinner was held in the Long Gallery with an excellent three course meal. Followed by a spectacular firework display from Star Fireworks, an excellent Swing band then entertained all the members who danced away to such numbers as “in the mood” and “Fly me to the moon”.