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Toolbox Talks hit an all-time high with record number of attendees

This year’s Toolbox Talks saw record numbers of Members and guests flocking to venues across Scotland, where they mingled with experts from across the industry and listened to our Technical team delivering updates on neutral current diversion and additions and alterations

Emma McKelvie and Michelle Courtney dealt with Member queries at Hampden

I thought last year’s Toolbox Talks were good, but this year things really went up a level as we welcomed more Members than ever before to our popular roadshows.

It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces – and plenty of new ones – as we criss-crossed the country to deliver this year’s free technical updates.

Mark McLaughin delivered the talk on NCD

And once again it was great to have the support of our Associate Members, many of whom were exhibiting and meeting Members face-to-face for the first time.

After kicking off our tour at The Walled Garden on 1 May, we hosted events in Peebles, Dundee, Fenwick, Dumfries and Oban. So by the time we rolled into Glasgow on 23 May, we were on the ball and match fit as our photographer recorded the event for posterity.

Our seventh event of the tour saw Managing Director Alan Wilson hosting proceedings at Hampden Park, welcoming guests, thanking our exhibitors and introducing the day’s timetable.

Technical Adviser Mark McLaughlin was next up to deliver a presentation on NCD, with plenty of questions from the audience who were keen to find out more about the issue.

The baton was then passed to fellow Technical Adviser Robert McGoogan for our second presentation of the morning, as he duly gave an insight into additions and alterations.

In between the tech talks, we were joined by Marcella McArthur from the Electrical Industries Charity (EIC), who outlined the wealth of support available to contractors and their families.

One of the most popular attractions from last year was our technical quiz, so to round things off, we put delegates through their paces again with some tricky questions on definitions and acronyms.

“It was fantastic to see so many familiar faces – and plenty of new ones”

Taking part via their phones, Members earned points for how quickly they answered as they battled it out for a coveted space on the podium and the chance to win prizes donated by Associate Members Ovia Lighting, Test Instrument Solutions and Acutest. 

Also returning was our ever-popular Beat the Buzzer game, with a new fiendish challenge for the chance to win goodies donated by Associate Member Megger. I think some Members had been practising as there were some seriously impressive times!

Like all the events this year, Glasgow was a huge success and we headed off to Aberdeen and Inverness armed with excellent feedback from Members and Associates alike.

“One of the most popular attractions from last year was our technical quiz”

As cabletalk went to press, the SELECT team was preparing for the final leg of this year’s tour, with events in Shetland, Orkney and Islay still to come.

Once they’re finished, we’ll again be studying the post-event surveys to ensure that the 2025 Toolbox Talks are suitably impressive for the association’s 125th anniversary. See you there! 


Beat the buzzer leaderboard

Chris Grant

→ 19.11 seconds – Chris Grant (Dundee event)

→ 21.87 – Kevin Simpson (Borders)

→ 21.90 – Mark Higgins (Glasgow)

→ 23.10 – Alan Smith (Dumfries)

→ 29.24 – Derek McCulloch (Edinburgh)

→ 33.28 – William Burns (Ayrshire)

→ 34.50 – Ewan Robertson (Inverness)

→ 40.00 – Barry Ferguson (Oban)

→ 46.50 – Richard Blundell (Aberdeen)

Shetland, Orkney and Islay events still to come

Beat the Buzzer was popular and some of the times were really impressive


Event was a matter of opinions

SELECT Members who attended the Glasgow event had chance to air their views on the industry as they were interviewed for our Spark’s Remarks podcast.

Host Kim McAllister spoke to contractors from firms of all sizes to get a broad cross-section of opinion for the latest episode of our popular programme.

Hot topics included the current volume of work, cashflow issues, materials and pricing, technological trends and even what kind of biscuits the modern electrician gets offered!

Among those who gave their views were former SELECT President and Ayrshire Branch Chair Kevin Griffin and Alan Watt, who is the current 3rd Representative for the Glasgow and West of Scotland Branch.

Also interviewed were Ryan Jamieson from Kirkton Controls, Gavin Ross of Prime Electrical, Jim Mackie from Select Electrician and Mark Higgins, who works for C-urb.

Kim said: “It was great to meet such a wide variety of contractors and hear their contrasting views on such a broad number of topics.

“Although they all had different viewpoints, it was also clear that they all had one thing in common – they are all completely passionate about the industry and their role within it.”

 Listen to the podcast by scanning the QR code or going to


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