A Message from the President !

Our annual residential meeting at Torquay was well attended despite the considerable distance it entailed for
many members. The sunny weather and very agreeable surroundings of Buckfast Abbey formed the backdrop
for the main morning event when the large new Ruffatti organ was demonstrated. Following the presentation
on project management and lunch, we all decamped to the workshop of William Drake Ltd where we were
made welcome by Joost, Geert and other staff. An inspection of the new organ under construction for Chelsea
Parish Church followed. We eagerly anticipate a future visit to hear this organ being put through its paces.
It was most appropriate to have John Wellingham, who taught Bill Drake the organ, as after dinner speaker.
Thanks go to Michael Farley for pulling this event together.

As noted in the last newsletter, the post of Training Officer became vacant as Geoff McMahon prepared for his
new responsibilities as Managing Director of Mander Organs. I am pleased to announce that Laura Johnson
will be the new I.B.O. Training Officer with specific responsibility for putting in place the new apprentice
training scheme. As outlined in Geoff McMahon’s update on page 10, a most constructive and encouraging
meeting has taken place with Newark College as the intended training body. With the agreement of the Royal
College of Organists to act as accrediting body, we have the green light to proceed with planning the course
content and tutors. An initial phone survey of members has indicated that there will be sufficient take-up to
make a course starting next autumn viable.

Abigail Balfour-Rowley has kindly agreed to continue to oversee the other training courses run for the general
membership as well as assisting Laura as needed with the apprentice scheme. The Leeds tuning day and electrical training day at Nicholson have taken place and were fully subscribed. There are two spare copies of the booklet handed out at the electrical meeting, Electrical Engineering in Organ Building – A Guide published in English by the German B.D.O. organisation. These are available on a first-come-first-served basis for £10 plus £2 p&p. Please contact Carol if you would like one of these copies.

As I write, the I.B.O./G.M.B. Joint Industrial Council (J.I.C.) has just taken place to consider the G.M.B. pay claim for 2019, the results of which await a ballot of G.M.B. members before being made public. The Working Rules Agreement, which embodies the agreed pay and working conditions, has fallen behind legislation over the years, in particular with regard to clauses which are now considered to be discriminatory. A separate meeting with the G.M.B. was held a few weeks earlier to prepare an updated agreement for presentation to the J.I.C. The ground work was done on behalf of the I.B.O. by Lorcan Gorman and Carol Levey. Inevitably, some of the changes have impacted on benefits and these were discussed and renegotiated at the J.I.C. meeting. The changes have been encompassed in this year’s pay agreement, making the impact for 2019 more complicated and wide-ranging than normal.

Next year’s meetings are at the planning stage. Feedback has indicated a desire for another presentation on a
business skills subject to follow the project management presentation at the Torquay meeting. The next topic being considered is on good commercial practice and I hope to have more news of this in the next
newsletter.

At a time when our trade is heavily involved in preparations to aid churches around the country to capture and express the true meaning of Christmas, I wish all our readers a happy Christmas and busy New Year.

Andrew Moyes - President