BCS Sixtieth Anniversary in Derbyshire

Derbyshire 60th Anniversary (1)

To thank BCS member groups for their hard work, a special evening sees members share a meal, memories and tech memorabilia. Martin Cooper AMBCS reports. 

Around 60 BCS members gathered on the lawns of Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire, on 21 June 2017. The event was created to thank the local BCS membership for its work and for its unwavering support.

Derbyshire 60th Anniversary (2)

Iain Thompson, Vice-President Community, welcomed guests and introduced Paul Martynenko, BCS President.

‘I’d like to thank you for three things,’ Martynenko said. ‘Firstly, for creating an industry. When I was at school this industry as we know it today didn’t exist.’

Within his lifetime, Martynenko observed, the industry has grown to become one that now employs over 2.1 million people and accounts for almost 9% of UK Total GVA

BCS played a big part in creating the industry, nurturing it and setting it on its path to growth. BCS has been pivotal in professionalising IT and also in putting computing on the national curriculum.

‘Today we have over 73,000 members, ‘ Martynenko observed. ‘And BCS is where it is because of its people... So, I’d like to thank you for creating the BCS.’

‘Finally, I’d like to thank you for what you’re going to do,’ Martynenko offered, by way of a summary. ‘We have a mission: Making IT good for society,’ he observed. Because computers and computing play such an important role in the function of modern society, BCS’ relevance and its importance shouldn’t be underestimated.

Microchips and dinner

Some members brought along memorabilia from their careers. These included a card punch, assembly language manuals and a punched card from a 1970s language designed to teach programming in schools.

Paul Fletcher, BCS Group CEO at the Derbyshire 60th Anniversary event

Paul Fletcher, BCS Group CEO, offered some closing observations. ‘We have over 100 Member Groups and hold over 700 events a year. That’s two a day. And we have great influence...' Fletcher said, pointing to BCS work around the 2016 Wachter Report. The government commissioned report was called Making IT work and it offered a series of recommendations designed to create a digitally mature NHS.

Summing up, Fletcher said: ‘Alongside BCS staff we have amazing and active volunteers. It is through their work that alchemy is made possible and we achieve things that we previously thought weren’t even possible.’