52nd Annual Presidents Dinner – Blackmore Farm – Cannington

The “52nd Presidents Dinner” was a resounding success.  The ladies looked splendid, the food & wine was excellent and Roger Evans kept every-one’s attention with his haunting experience’s and tales of local ghost history.  The beautiful banquet hall at Blackmore Farm added to the atmosphere of the occasion – was it the draft from the door that made the lights dim!!

One of our new members Chris Spencer (Partner Pardoes) hand the honour of making the toast to the ladies.

Whilst the dinner is the key social event of the year for the association, our President “John Vieth” took the opportunity to review the progress of the Bridgwater Industrialists and the opportunities on the horizons for our members and the wider local business community.

John said “Taking a quick look back upon 2009, the last 12 months has seen a rapid economic decline, leading to the longest recession since the 1930s. This meant some difficult decisions had to be made, but that’s what stands us apart as managers, directors and proprietors. Now we are all looking for the first shoots of recovery and hopefully some may have seen a recent upturn.

Local business potential looks very rosy. There are amazing opportunities for the area, much better than most.  For example –

‘Building schools for the future’, developing 4 secondary schools costing £100m, which is great for local business and even better for further generations.

We are building a new hospital and all the associated services.

There is Challenge Bridgwater, which has created a vision and now we must find a way to convert this vision into reality.

And of course, new power stations, which cost £5bn each and we are having 2. This will have a truly massif influence on the local economy, EDF say they spend 1.5% in the local supply chain, but that’s only £15m, we can do better than that.

Individual companies must make their own approaches; perhaps we are stronger as a group, should we form a consortium or even a joint venture? Whatever the route to market we must take full advantage.

This town has truly great opportunities, for business and for the community. It’s up to us to make them happen and to cash in on them.

The association has also enjoyed a great year:–

We have had good attendance at our meetings and a steadily growing membership. In the social calendar we enjoyed the hospitality at the Dunster Show where we watched a display of trick horse riding. We also saw a flying display of Eagles and Hawks as a vulture circled ominously above certain parts of the crowd.

We had a Charity Golf match at Enmore, raising £500 for St Margaret’s Hospicea in memory of our dear friend Ken Dewer.

We had a fantastic trip to the Palace of Westminster. The guide made the tour a fascinating experience and the London Eye was great fun also. It was a great day out.

We need to continue to encourage new members, then in turn we can influence decision makers, take advantage of the opportunities that will arise, we will make changes happen, for we are being heard and noticed and we can be proud of our town and help it’s prosperity.”