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Summer ball moves to autumn

NEITHER CINDERELLA or anyone else will be going to the ICE summer ball after confirmation last week that the annual event has been scrapped.

But disappointed summer revellers can look forward to a new autumn ball on 16 October, when greater numbers are expected.

'Numbers had been on a downward trend and our subsidy for it was going up,' said managing director of Thomas Telford Publishing, Hugh Ferguson. 'Questions were asked about whether this was the best use of funds. Last year 175 people attended which was down on the previous year, and with 50,000 members out there we felt we needed rethink this event.'

The switch to October is likely to attract more corporate bookings. 'Firms like to use our Ball as a way of saying thank you to their staff, but we weren't getting enough of these corporate bookings. Many have told us that the summer is the wrong time of year with so many other events, and that there would be more take up in autumn.

'We will be asking members' opinions and will organise the autumn ball accordingly,' said Ferguson.

The annual meeting of honorary local association chairman may, in future, be changed to coincide with the new event.

The original 'Conversazione' which dated back to the early days of the Institution was streamlined into a summer ball four years ago.

It was then a learned event, combining a dinner with lectures and displays of civil engineering works.

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