An evening to cherish
Ray Jelf receiving the Sheet Metal Engineering Gold Medal
The inaugural ISME/MMMA Joint Awards evening was held on Friday 11th May at the Copthorne Hotel in Dudley, attracting over 170 people from major metalworking industry companies. A fantastic night was had by all, with Pete Waterman OBE giving a very interesting, entertaining after dinner speech.
The Metalforming Machinery Makers Association, originally “The British Power Press Makers Association” was founded in 1949 to constitute and maintain a central national organisation between all those engaged as manufacturers in the power press making and allied industries. In 1971 it became the MMMA to enable the association to expand its activities to encompass manufacturing companies outside of the UK. This has now been opened to companies providing a wider range of services which has led to a surge in membership of some 30 percent in the last two years.
The Institute of Sheet Metal Engineers (ISME) was formed over 60 years ago to promote the science of working and using sheet metal and to provide opportunities for people to exchange ideas and information. The Institute of Sheet Metal Engineers is a learned body with individual membership open to those employed in the sheet metal and associated industries.
The Institute of Sheet Metal Engineering Gold Medal, sponsored by SERTEC, is awarded for a major contribution to the sheet metal industry. The recipient will normally give a lecture or address at the award ceremony. This was originally a Silver Medal but changed to Gold in 1996 to recognise ISME’s 50thanniversary.
Amongst the many previous winners were Sir Alec Issigonis, Sir Monty Finniston, Sir Nicholas Scheele, Lord Heseltine, Lord Digby Jones.
On this occasion, the recipient was Ray Jelf, recognising his work for many years in the sector. He was born in Birmingham in the 1930’s and attended Central Grammar School, the City’s first Municipal Grammar School.
After a brief period in Commercial Art, he joined the British Oxygen Company in 1950 as a trainee Draughtsman. Between 1952 to 1954 he saw National Service in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers before returning to BOC. In late 1954, he joined Hordern Mason and Edwards (HME) and worked there for 17 years, gaining experience that proved valuable for the future.
1971 was a year of change in direction and, in a new position of sales manager at Clarks Press Equipment, specific knowledge of coil feeding and associated ancillaries was added to his growing knowledge.
In 1973 he founded Indicum Ltd, a sales company holding some 16 franchises from the USA and Europe specialising in the supply of presses together with a wide range of complementary equipment. Indicum became respected as the leading UK sales agency and 45 years later is still going strong.
Ray attended his first ISME meeting which was held at Gosta Green Technical College, now the University of Aston. HME hand a strong interest in the Institute and encouraged many to attend the various lectures etc held at the time. In 1972 having moved to Chipping Norton, he joined the Coventry Branch which a few years later was absorbed into the Midlands Branch. In his time with the Branch and the Council he carried out many roles including chairman and president. He instigated the house magazine “The Oracle”, was ISME Chairman with ICOSPA and ran their Dinner Dances, initially one year under pressure, but after his 25thDinner Dance he retired. Many members will have fond memories of the Metal Bashers Balls at the Chateau Impney. These events did much to foster good relationships in the sheet metal industry. In parallel with his ISME work, Ray has been a very active member of the MMMA and company secretary.
Through his Indicum sales and work with ISME and MMMA, Ray is recognised as one of the most well-known and respected people in the industry and done much to foster developments and relationships.
Born very near to the venue in Stoke Heath, Coventry, guest speaker Dr Peter (Pete) Waterman is well-known as a record producer, songwriter, radio and club DJ, broadcaster, railway enthusiast and entrepreneur. He has always had a keen interest in anything mechanical as he explained in his speech, but also entertained the guests with his anecdotes and experiences in the pop industry.
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