The 3rd successful Reunion 13/09/14
Below is a short report on the day.
Report on the 3rd Reunion
Neil Atkinson, Head of Campus FNC.
Tony Dumbell, Head of Maritime Affairs, FNC.
Joe Bottomely, Head of Off-shore, FNC.
Peter Hills, Off-shore Safety, FNC.
Thursday 11th September 2014 saw the advance-guard and early attenders arrived in Fleetwood to prepare for an enjoyable Reunion (a long weekend for some, a day & evening for others). Much preparatory work had to be completed on the Friday.
By noon on Saturday 13th quite a number of those booked for the Reunion had assembled in the Refrectory at Broadwater, having first been registered by Sue Clarke - who carried out much of that admin work efficiently. Tickets were dispensed (more of a souvenir since everyone who wished to attend had been logged and Name Badges made and handed-out).
Unfortunately, at 12.35pm due to a prior booking of the Bridge & Engine Room Simulators by a fee-paying commercial customer it was advised that the planned afternoon tours of those two facilities would have to be severely curtailed: access was limited to the period up to 1pm. A speedy re-jig of the afternoon's programme had to be carried out with those already in attendance (well before the originally planned 1pm start) swiftly taken through the two simulators.
While this took place yours truly waited to greet those who arrived after 12.35pm to briefly explain and apologise for the unintended and disappointing change of plans. Some were able to get a very brief experience of the simulators while others barely saw anything.
Then on completion of those hastily organised mini-tours the original programme for the afternoon resumed with a welcome talk given by Tony Dumbell during which he outlined the many developments which the College is undertaking and the several which had already been completed since the last Reunion in 2012. The major refurbishment works had by now also been completed and the contractors had vacated the site.
Some of the more significant plans in the pipe-line are:
It was heartening to hear that FNC has been chosen by Kuwait Shipping Company as their sole Cadet training school. Similarly the Royal Fleet Auxiliary have designated FNC as their preferred training centre. Both of these are major success stories for FNC in the face of stiff competition - in some cases on an international basis.
In recent years the College has been successful in attracting international students - especially from the Indian sub-continent and Burma. Sadly, with the major restrictions imposed by the UK Borders Agency much of that business has now been jeopardised - through the gaining of Student Visas becoming extremely difficult. FNC has always operated a strict compliance policy in respect of overseas student Visas and it is most regrettable that this diligence has not been recognised by the authorities.
The afternoon programme continued with the guests divided into two groups - to witness in turn the demonstration and explanation of the Survival Pool by Peter Hills and the Survival & Marine Safety Equipment Testing Lab by Joe Bottomley. Both of these proved to be very interesting with both Joe and Peter delivering most impressive talks and demonstrations which by the numbers of questions were well received and enjoyed by us the audience. This was the first time that we saw the full range of Survival Pool facilities being actively demonstrated and many remarked on how interesting it proved to be.
Since the 2nd Reunion in 2012 the Survival & Marine Safety Equipment Testing Lab has expanded from what was little more than a cupboard to a most impressive and well equipped facility which has enabled FNC to become a designated centre for such testing and issuance of appropriate certification under the CE mark regulations and standards. It was remarkable to say the least to see the audience engrossed in Joe's explanations - and one could not have expected that a talk on various life-belts could make for an interesting half-hour or so, which it most certainly did.
If you have any photos or comments to add to the above - from the 3rd Reunion's tour of the College please send them to: firstname.lastname@example.org.