The first ‘Facilities Appeal’ is, as stated in the April 2013 ‘BIS e-News’, to raise £5,000 to replace the 34-year-old gas central-heating boiler in the basement of the headquarters building with a new, much smaller and more efficient, condensing boiler in the ground floor kitchen. This has now become urgent as the old boiler has failed several times over the winter and now does not comply with current health and safety regulations.
Unfortunately all buildings need constant maintenance and repair, and it is often the unexpected that costs more. Blocked drains, replacement carpets and light bulbs are commonplace, but the stealing of lead from the roof last year and poor repairs by the insurance company have required emergency work to be carried out recently. This puts an excessive strain on the Society’s finances and with ever-changing regulations on electrical systems and wiring it is likely that certain parts of the building will soon require urgent re-wiring.
In order to move with the times the Society must also look at upgrading its facilities. The building is already paying its way with reliable tenants using the top floor offices and another area is shortly due to be fitted out with ‘Hot-Desks’ for which there is said to be considerable demand in the local area. But plans to smarten up the Reception area, the kitchen and even enlarge the lecture room are being considered. So there will be even greater demand on the Society’s finances and even more requirement for further appeals to cover these one-off expenditures.
Alistair Scott FBIS, President.
The first ‘Technical Target’ has yet to be announced as work continues apace on the Sprite chipsats for the Kicksat programme, which was funded by a number of members following an appeal in 2010, and is due for launch later this year. So Council has decided, as its first target, to raise £5,000 for some up-to-date display and demonstration models that can be used for both educational purposes and for display at conferences, exhibitions and media interviews.
The Society is grateful for the many generous gifts of models of past projects or programmes, like Inmarsat 4, HOTOL, Olympus, Skylark and Mustard. All have been widely used, but to excite the younger generation, maintain their interest in STEM subjects and encourage visionary thinking, more futuristic models like Skylon, Daedalus/Icarus and perhaps even World Ships should be added. Fortunately we have access to the original Daedalus model and a new one is on the way, but new ideas and models are always welcome.
Richard Osborne FBIS, Council Member.