During the membership meeting at this year's Surveyors Rendezvous in Bellingham, Washington a presentation was made to test the waters of offering a one week Surveyors Historical Society sponsored tour of Jolly Olde England in May of 2018. The response was considerable and over 25 members signed up right off the bat with the understanding the we would start researching the trip and go from there. So, a committee was formed with yours truly as the chairman and committee members being Bart Crattie, Rich Leu, Stephen Letchford, Mike Besch, and Ann Besch. The committee members (and any other knowledgeable members for that matter) will start researching the logistics and particulars of the feasibility of the trip and gather the results. We are looking at possibly one large tour bus which would limit the participants to around 45-50 total. However, if the response is warranted, we might increase it to two buses, but no more than that!! As I announced at that membership meeting, "you have two and a half years to save up your money". This is not intended to be a Rendezvous event but simply a side event to be sponsored by Surveyors Historical Society.
A little history is in order at this point. Two years ago in March of 2013 a quasi business/tourism ten day surveyors trip was organized to visit England. Myself, Bart Crattie, Rich Leu, Stephen Letchford, and Chuck Dunlap opted in for what turned out to be a fantastic trip filled with interesting meetings and adventures. We rented a house outside of London located near the train station and took the train (mind the gap) to London as needed, and then rode the subway, or as Londoners refer as "the tube," around London. We alternately secured a rental car for out trips around the southeastern portion of England. Our first tour was the Greenwich Royal Observatory, which is ground zero for any self respecting surveyor. It is situated on a hill in Greenwich, overlooking the Thames River and a panorama of the heart of London. After touring the Royal Observatory and having our pictures taken straddling the Prime Meridian line with one foot on East Longitude and the other on West Longitude, it was time to visit the Greenwich Tavern for a pint of beer with fish and chips.
As the trip progressed, we visited Sulgrave Manor, the ancestral home of George Washington, and traveled to Avebury circle of stones, which is 25 miles north of Stonehenge and is considered to be the most impressive of all the remaining prehistoric earthworks (henges) in England.
We also visited the British Antarctic Survey and the Scott Polar Museum while in Cambridge, and the British Museum, among several other sites throughout London and Southeast England that piqued our interest.
It was while we were meeting with our friend James Kavanagh, who is the director of the Land Survey Group of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) at their very impressive headquarters near Parliament Square, that we noticed a crest on the wall which was inscribed, "Established in 1868 by Royal Charter", which regulates property professionals and surveyors in the United Kingdom (UK), that the idea of a 2018 surveyors trip to England manifested itself!
And so, that brings us up to the present and after discussing this proposed 2018 trip with James Kavanagh, everyone is excited at the prospect. James has suggested we make the trip in May of 2018 in conjunction with the planned RICS Geobusiness event along with a visit to the British Ordnance Survey and Land Registry office and perhaps a meeting and/or banquet with members of the RICS one evening.
As I have previously suggested, this proposed trip has already generated considerable interest in the surveying community and several people have mentioned that they might stay an extra week and travel to Ireland or Scotland while in the British Isles. As the British would, "Cheers".