West Midlands Annual Banquet

32nd Annual Banquet

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Branch President Ian Shergold welcomed the 141 members and guests to his end of year banquet and ball and also thanked the hotel for the excellent dinner. His guests for the evening were, National President John Townsend, National Vice President Trevor Ayre, National Junior Vice President Steve Hill, West Midlands Branch Vice President Richard Heath, together with their partners, and also the guest speaker, Black Country comedienne, Doreen from Tipton.

Branch President Ian spoke of some of the major changes that had occurred during his presidential year. A vote to leave the European Union resulted in David Cameron stepping down as prime minister with Theresa May then taking over the role. More recently we have had the declaration of an election which will take place next month. In the USA. to the surprise of many, Donald Trump had been sworn in as President. Whilst all this was going on the ICME continued its drive to become the principal provider of foundry training and education, a key element of which is the creation of the Elite Training Centre in Dudley Port.
Ian concluded with a toast to the guests.

National President John Townsend also made references to the many changes in the world in this last year and the potential opportunities and threats they may bring. However, he said changes generate uncertainty and that uncertainty has led to a significant drop in the value of the pound which has affected business and individuals in a variety of ways, some positive some not.

John then turned to talk about the Elite Training Centre for the foundry and associated industries. This is a major step for the ICME and for the foundry industry. The lack of foundry specific education and training over the last 20 plus years has resulted in an industry where technology and leadership is in the hands of an aging workforce. Had it not been addressed manufacturing recovery and growth could have been under serious threat. John went on to thank national Vice President Trevor Ayre for the sterling work he has done and continues to do to oversee the elite centre construction and it kitting out. He also thanked the many companies and individuals for their support in providing items of plant and equipment or time and energy in the project. Finally, on a personal note, he thanked the staff of Head Office for their support and guidance in his 1st Presidential year and looked forward to working with them in his 2nd.
John proposed a toast to the retiring patron of the ICME His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh and then a 2nd toast to the Institute of Cast Metal Engineers.

The guest speaker was comedienne Doreen from Tipton who gave a laugh out loud, light hearted talk which ensured that the members and guests were in the best mood possible to enjoy listening and dancing to the band for the evening, “The Times Square Band”.