The glorious 25 March

22 July 2011

Scattered around the T&T office, known to friends and family as T&T Towers, are all the back issues of the magazine, bound together in hardback annuals. Every so often I look through them, to see how far the magazine has come, what has changed and to keep an eye out for trends.

I’ve just found the 1971 annual. Readers who can remember a time before Gotthard and Chunnel, a time when a subscription to T&T took a postal order of 30 shillings, will recognise this as the year of the foundation of the British Tunnelling Society (BTS), and formation of the partnership between the fledgling organisation and the already well-established T&T.

In the words of Allan Muir Wood, “The BTS has been born under a bright and auspicious star, marking renewed concern for our environment. Tunnelling is an unobtrusive means for improving the quality of our towns, of reducing demand on the over-popular surface, of providing maximum freedom to future planning.

“The new tunnelling society, as an infant of the Institution of Civil Engineers, has good reason, with the promised level of support, to see itself as meeting a need here for advisor and co-ordinator to ensure the widest benefits from such activities.”

The summary of the initial BTS prospectus, carried in the March 1971 issue of T&T, sets out the agreement between the two: space in the magazine for the BTS programme, papers and the activities of the society, with regular notes from the secretariat and other contributed articles from the committee.

The magazine has changed over time, but the relationship with the BTS is still strong. Furthermore, remember the invitation of Sir Harold Harding and the rest of the founding committee to “take full advantage of [T&T’s] pages in extending discussion of the society’s activities to the audience [T&T] commands at home and overseas.”

So get writing.

Early bound copies of T&T

A typical compressed-air 'spader' for digging clay held in normal fashion A typical compressed-air 'spader' for digging clay held in normal fashion