All good things

11 May 2020

My time at Tunnels and Tunnelling has come to an end. After almost 10 years at the magazine, five of which I have spent as editor, I have decided that the moment is right to move on.

One of my fi rst interviewees told me that his advice to people at the start of their career is to avoid becoming part of the furniture. That it is a good thing to switch roles and companies.. My 10-year stint might suggest I ignored his advice, but there was a complication: Tunnels and Tunnelling has been a diffi cult institution to leave.

I never expected to fi nd myself part of the tunnelling industry, travelling the world and reporting on road projects perched in the frigid Himalayas, or to fi nd myself stewing in the humid oil caverns below the seabed in Singapore, where the machinery quickly rusts from the salt you can taste in the air. The tunnelling industry is always an adventure, and I’ve had my share of unprintable stories with many of you. You all know who you are.

On that subject, the British Tunnelling Society (BTS) is printing a 50th anniversary book containing anecdotes from its members, and input has been requested from me.

Unfortunately, most of my stories end with a concerned tunneller asking: “you’re not going to print this, are you?”

In this job I have drunk with gangsters; had people attempt to extort coverage; been threatened; been accused of ‘Fake News’; and have been on the receiving end of more than a few legal threats over the years. I have even tried a shot of Jeppson’s Malört.

It’s been a ten-year adventure, but I definitely won’t be gone for good. No doubt you will see me at the ICE bar, or at some event or other in the engineering world. Be sure to buy me a beer! This job wouldn’t be possible without the support of the industry, particularly the BTS Editorial Advisory Board (EAB), whose endless patience and advocacy has made me far better at my job than I could have been otherwise.

The two chairs of the EAB during my tenure have been Myles O’Reilly and Eddie Woods, who both deserve a special mention. Unfortunately, limited space prevents me from naming everyone who deserves it.

But I hope you will all welcome and support the new editor, George Demetri, as much as you have helped me. Transitions are difficult at the best of times, but with the added complication of Covid-19 and its impact on industry and all of our lives, interesting times lie ahead.

I wish George, and all of you, the best of luck.