All hail the Royal Engineers!

I had the honour of being invited to the inaugural Royal Engineer Awards at the Institute of Civil Engineers on 28thNovember.  The Awards celebrated the work of the Engineers and were split into several categories; individual endeavour, trade skills, academic achievements and support to operations.

As l listened to the citations, I was reminded of the work of this very special part of the Army which not only included construction, but also operations such as the nerve agent incident in Salisbury, ordinance disposal and rebuilding in the Caribbean post Hurricane Irma.

The highest Award of the evening was the Kitchener Award presented to Major Marsh, 39 Engineer Regiment for supporting his subordinates and being a role model during an 18-month continuous deployment to a remote part of the Falkland Islands.

The Award with the most intriguing name was the Windy Notchy Award, which commemorated the Royal Engineers Corps song.  The award itself was presented to the top instructor in the Corps by the USA Chief of Engineers.  I had to ask the young Captains who were sitting next to me why “windy notchy” and they were eventually coerced in to revealing the words and an explanation, which it turned out was thought to brought back to the UK by one of the RE Units which served in the Anglo-Boer War.

The dinner closed with a full rendition of the Windy Notchy Song by all the Sappers in the room and I shall remember the singing and the dinner with joy for many years to come.

The Paviors Autumn Dinner

In my working days the Paviours were always considered by some to be a competitor in the flooring industry, however to those of us in the know, it was simply a different element of the construction industry.

The dinner took place in the Livery Hall in the beautiful Drapers’ Hall and was a full house of some 240 guests, most of whom came from the paving industry.

The guest speaker was Ian Wilson, CEO of Alzheimer’s Research the Pavior’s charity who reminded all of the dreadful effects of this awful illness.  It is hoped that a cure will be found eventually.