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Toolbox Talks head north for the final events in this year's roadshow

Toolbox Talks head north for this year’s final roadshow events

RS Merriman staff were out in force for our Orkney event

From puffin-spotting in Orkney to sweltering in unexpected sunshine in Shetland, the second leg of the 2023 Toolbox Talks certainly ended in style. The final three weeks of our annual roadshow saw us head north as our Technical Advisers delivered technical updates on air source heat pumps and electrical energy storage systems to Members on the mainland and beyond.

Following the update in the previous issue of cabletalk, the Toolbox Talks roadshow rolled into Aberdeen and Inverness on 6 and 7 June, before island-hopping across the sea to events in Orkney, Shetland and Lewis.

Once again, there were many highlights on this second half of our tour, but just like last year, the thing that shone through was the friendly welcome from Members and how much they appreciated us dropping into their Branch area.

ECIR quiz winner Alistair Leslie of Ness Engineering with Keith Hagan in Shetland

This was never more evident than in Orkney on 13 June, when most of the workforces from Member firms RS Merriman and E Fraser Electrical joined us at the Pickaquoy Centre in Kirkwall – from apprentices right up to management!

Aside from the satisfaction of seeing a full house, chatting over a coffee and bacon roll again brought home how much SELECT means to Members across Scotland and why there’s no substitute for delivering advice and information and getting to know people face-to-face.

We also had plenty of support from our trusty Associate Members on this last leg – especially when, despite a 4am start, a delayed flight meant we were running three hours late for our most northerly event on Shetland on 14 June.

Finally touching down, we rushed to the venue in Lerwick – only to find that everything had already been set up by Luceco’s Steve Conn and Davy White from DEHN UK, who had caught the overnight ferry and had everything in hand. Now that’s what you call teamwork!

At our final event in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis on 21 June, I felt sad as we packed away the pop-up banners and gave away our final prizes and goody bags – but happy that there was now room in our suitcases to take home plenty of the island’s famous black pudding!

Fun for everyone

With the dust now settled on this year’s technical talks, a special shoutout must go to the generous folk at Luceco and fellow Associate Member Test Instrument Solutions, who donated competition prizes for the EICR coding quiz that rounded off every event. Thanks also to Sandy Thompson from Megger, who once again organised a voltage pen and two-pole voltage tester and proving unit as the star prizes in our popular Beat the Buzzer game.

The team from E Fraser Electrical also joined us at the Kirkwall talk

We’re going to miss you, Sandy!

It was also great to welcome SNIPEF member Callum Cruden and representatives from manufacturers Daikin and NIBE, who attended Aberdeen and Inverness to answer questions about air source heat pumps.

It provided a different aspect to the presentations and I know Members found them useful.

The EICR coding quiz also went down a storm at every event, with some impressive levels of knowledge among Members as they battled to be fastest finger first – we’ll definitely be doing something similar next year.

To everyone who took part in this year’s events, whether exhibitor, Member or guest, thank you for making them such a success. And thanks to everyone who filled in our survey, too – we’re already examining your feedback to make Toolbox Talks 2024 bigger and better.



David Forster, David C Forster Ltd

→ 25.47 seconds – David Forster, David C Forster Ltd (Borders event)

→ 27.45 – Mark Higgins, C-Urb 6 Ltd (Falkirk)

→ 27.79 – Graeme Johnstone, Colin Johnstone Electrical Contractor (Dumfries)

→ 29.87 – Sean Maclean, Alex Murray Construction Ltd (Stornoway)

→ 30.01 – Stuart Wood, SWES & Ashgrove Ltd (Aberdeen)

→ 32.51 – Simon McLean, Cunninghame Housing Association Ltd (Kilmarnock)

→ 35.00 – Martin Gaughan, New Gorbals Housing Association Ltd (Glasgow)

→ 36.10 – David Haighe, Montali Energy Services Ltd (Edinburgh)

→ 38.30 – Steven Smith, Ness Engineering Ltd (Shetland)

→ 39.80 – Scott Taylor, C & F Electrical Services Ltd (Dundee)

→ 46.24 – Ryan Watt, RS Merriman Ltd (Orkney)

→ 60.20 – Calum Watson, CJE Electrics (Inverness)


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