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Scottish Region Memorabilia finds a new home at Heriot-Watt Museum

Simon Hindshaw, Scottish Region Chairman 2002 - 2003 wearing the CILT Chain of Office.d

Simon Hindshaw, Scottish Region Chairman 2002 - 2003 wearing the CILT Chain of Office.

© John Yellowlees.

The Logistics Research Network Conference at Heriot-Watt University on 6-8 September 2023 contained Curiosity Corners at which speakers spoke for five minutes and were then available to follow up with individual delegates over lunch.

One of these provided an opportunity to hand over into the safe keeping of the Institution of Civil Engineers Museum there several items of memorabilia from CILT Scottish Region.

These comprised a Past Chairman's badge, those issued to officials, guides and attendees at the Chartered Institute of Transport's 1953 Congress in Glasgow, and a chain of office worn by the Scottish Chair following the merger of CIT with the Institute of Logistics in 1999.

Presenting these items to the Museum, present Scottish chair John Yellowlees recalled CIT's first Director-General had been Edinburgh-educated Sir Eric Geddes. Over the years the Scottish Region established itself as a space where industry leaders could meet and the next generation could advance its careers. Back in 1930 its prestige was such that Glasgow inventor George Bennie used a visit to launch his visionary Railplane. The Past Chairman badge and the ones for the 1953 event are indicative of pride in its identity.

CIT concentrated on evening speaker events, while ILog preferred afternoon visits. There was thus a fusion of cultures when the two institutes came to merge in 1999, but horizons were thus widened, new friendships made and a new chain of office commissioned for the Chair to wear at dinners and other events.

Until around that time the prevailing mood had been hierarchical and deferential, but change was wrought by the forces of privatisations, globalisation and local government reorganisation. Adoption of a new logo made this chain obsolete, and soon afterwards the pandemic put paid to our speaker meetings.

John said that today CILT continues to represent nearly a thousand professionals in Scotland ranging from local authority transport officers through passenger and freight managers to just in time delivery specialists. It has corporate members including Glasgow Caledonian University and strong representation in the North Sea oil and gas sector. Our speaker activity now takes the form of webinars, but we also continue to hold social events and visits, and when we came in May to inspect the ICE museum our committee member (and LRN chair) Professor Edward Sweeney proposed that it could provide a good home for these memorabilia.

CILT was particularly delighted that the trustee receiving the items should be none other than Simon Hindshaw who back at the time of the merger became our first Scottish chairman. Promising to give them a good home, Simon felt it appropriate that Scotland's record in delivering world-class infrastructure should be commemorated in this way. He invited delegates during their time in Scotland to inspect in particular the three bridges across the Forth at Queensferry which represent excellence in nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first century engineering and transport planning.

Afterwards delegates were able to pick up this list of Scotland's transport curiosity corners:
— Union Chain Bridge - world's oldest vehicle-carrying suspension bridge
— Courthill Smithy - where blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan invented the pedal bicycle
— the Edinburgh & Glasgow Railway - first intercity high-speed line for passengers
— the Forth Bridge - one of only four railway sites in the world given UNESCO World Heritage status
— Corrour, Britain's highest mainline station - no road access but a nightly Sleeper to London
— Glasgow Subway - world's third oldest underground railway
— Ferrytoll-Edinburgh Park - route of world's first autonomous bus
— the Bell Rock - world's first lighthouse on a rock submerged by the tide
— the Falkirk Wheel - world's tallest shiplift
— PS Waverley - world's last seagoing paddle steamer
— MV Glenachulish - last manually operated steel turntable ferry in the world
— Barra - only airport in the world where tides wash the runway
— Westray-Papa Westray - Scotland's shortest airline hop is shorter than our longest runway at Machrihanish
— The Queensferry Crossing - opened 2017, the longest triple tower cable-stayed bridge in the world.

The Logos and Badges
To read about the various Logos used by the Institute since its inception, click on "Logos" below. To read about the special Congress 1953 badges, click on "Congress 1953" below.

Congress 1953

Report by John Yellowlees. Logos and Badges text and photograph by John Fender.


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