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BAR 2018 Conference report

Jul 14, 2018
This year’s BAR Conference held on 18 -20 May in Bournemouth again delivered a successful, high quality annual event.

The conference was sold out well in advance and BAR Members, International Associates and Affiliates arrived in the town ready for a weekend of networking, relevant business sessions delivered by engaging speakers, and of course to enjoy a fun-filled social programme.  

The speakers included Richard Burnett, the Chief Executive of the RHA, Kevin Rooney, Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, Judith Turner Senior Ombudsman and Matt Prior of the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government.   

Industry-focussed topics covered during the business sessions included presentations on the challenges facing the logistics industry, including the possible impacts of Brexit; the strategic objectives of the Traffic Commissioner’s office; an update on the government’s review of the Home Buying and Selling processes and a focus on the work of the Furniture Ombudsman relative to ADR and the consumer landscape legislations.   

The now traditional Q&A with the BAR board of directors was followed by further updates from Backhouse Jones on compliance with the new GDPR legislation and on progress made in the Truck Cartel action. Once again there were specialist workshop sessions for the Commercial Moving Group, the Overseas Group and the National and European Group.  

The conference keynote speaker was Simon Weston OBE, the Falklands War veteran whose story is simply inspirational and left delegates in awe of the courage and determination that he has shown to overcome the huge challenges that life has placed before him.  Simon’s presentation was also delivered with a liberal splattering of great good humour and true to say that he had his audience spellbound throughout. 

All who attended certainly took value from the business sessions as well as having the opportunity to explore commercial opportunities through networking with the exhibitors, who provided an impressive array of high quality goods and services on offer to BAR Members.   

The BAR Conference is of course very much a social event, and this year was no exception: from the welcome evening drinks with a formal welcome to the town delivered by the Mayor of Bournemouth, to the 1940’s street party themed night at the Bovington Tank Museum to the gala dinner and awards on the final evening where entertainment was provided by a trio of singing waiters performing operatic arias during dinner and the comedian Marcus Brigstocke providing the after-dinner entertainment. 

The culmination of the gala dinner was of course the presentation of the awards and honours to the winners of the respective competitions as well as individual awards made to recognise outstanding contributions made to the Association over many years. The recipients of those awards are as follows; Domestic Mover of the Year 2018: Squab Group;  Commercial Mover of the Year 2018: Ede’s (UK) Ltd; Overseas Mover of the Year 2018: GB Liners.  

BAR was delighted to confer Honorary Lifetime Membership of the BAR to Jonathan Hood, Matt Purdie and William Burden in recognition of their exceptional commitment and services to the Association and the industry as a whole. Chris Waymouth, who retired earlier this year as chief executive officer of
QSS Ltd, was presented with an award for outstanding achievement in recognition of his contributions to pursuing high standards for the industry.  

During the conference period, the BAR community also raised a fantastic £10,300 for the Removers Benevolent Association and grateful thanks go out to all who donated prizes for the charity auction as well as those who so generously contributed to the total sum raised. Feedback received from delegates has rated the event one of the best for many years and that Bournemouth 2018 exceeded all expectations. Next year’s conference will be held in William Shakespeare’s home town Stratford-upon-Avon. Renowned for its history and culture, spectacular architecture and a terrific selection of top brand restaurants and shops, Stratford-upon-Avon also has excellent transport links and the Association very much looks forward to welcoming everyone, delegates old and new, to what promises to be another fantastic flagship event. 

Left: Simon Weston OBE; middles and right: Jonathan Hood and Matt Purdie receive their Honorary Lifetime BAR Memberships.

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