IJL Approaches and the Excitement Builds… Michael Allchin, from the Assay Office, shares his views

Huge excitement at home. On Thursday night William Stanley Allchin joined the growing band of world-wide Allchini. Proud Grumpa got to count his fingers and toes; all present and correct.

Thrilled. Baby William is home with Jenny and Ben and all is well. You might want to google William Allchin. In 1847 the family started making very famous William Allchin steam traction engines in Northampton.

My cycle challenge is beginning to loom. My 50 mile Sportive is less than 4 weeks away and it’s a very hilly course. For training this weekend after getting back from seeing the new baby in London, I went three times round a loop in the Cotswolds that took me over and down Meon Hill and then up Larkstoke Hill near Ilmington. Three times up Larkstone Hill in quick succession really hurts. It’s all in a good cause and my stamina is improving. I’m feeling confident that I’ve got the strength to get through IJL and the parties from the get-go on Sunday morning to close of biz on Wednesday afternoon. Let’s see.

On a serious note the shootings at the Lonmin platinum mine in South Africa have shocked us all. Whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular episode, it’s a brutal reminder of the inequalities in the world. It highlights why we need to be cognisant of what’s happening in our own supply chains, and the need for us all to try to make a difference for the benefit of impoverished communities in the third world. ‘Making a Difference’ is the theme for this year’s Great Debate, the showpiece event at IJL focusing on humanitarian issues. It is co-presented by Reed/IJL and the Birmingham Assay Office. Steve Bennett and Vanessa Burkitt will show you some inspirational video footage and images showing you how they have helped poor people in different parts of the world. It’s the opposite of what we saw on TV last week and will to encourage us to see that our industry does care and we can help. The Great Debate is in the Inspirations Theatre from 12 noon to 1.15pm on Monday at the show. All welcome; don’t miss it.

We’re on the final straight for IJL now. Penny is ahead of the game as usual; everything carefully planned. Kelly and Natalie are getting things organised and Marie and I are ready to zoom down to London to meet and greet our many friends and clients. Marion’s recharging her batteries in Spain where she’s no doubt sipping sangria on the beach and working on a suntan to make us all jealous next week. Lucky girl.

Sam and Sarah and the team at IJL seem amazingly calm considering there’s only a few days to go. That’s probably because the Show is going to look fab, better than ever before, and I’ve no doubt it will be a storming success. Good on them and good luck too.

We look forward to seeing you all in London next week.

Take care


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