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Nothing changes


Ten years ago, when NCE was sold to Emap, my letter of protest was printed as the lead item on the letters page. As last week's article pointed out, the main reason for the sale was to pay off the debt on the headquarters building.

At the time, I suggested that a company called 'One Great George Street' should be established to provide catering and social facilities at a prestigious central London location, and the whole caboodle sold off. The proceeds would be used to establish a new organisation, the 'Institute of Civil Engineering', in a cheap but accessible location, whose function would be to provide a service to its members.

Ten years on, what has changed- The 'One Great George Street' brand flourishes at ICE's expense, as Duncan Rollo's letter (Write On, NCE 16 June) made clear. The building remains an irrelevance to most members, but the London pretensions remain, bolstered by a hefty subscriptions increase.

Fortunately, despite my fears, NCE goes from strength to strength, having been neither dumbed down, 'sexed up' nor merged. You deserve our congratulations for this.

And as for the Institute of Civil Engineering, the search for a suitable site in Milton Keynes continues.

Iain Forbes (M), 63 Braxted Park, London SW16 3AU

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