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BICSc in the sixties

BICSc in the sixties

Eric and Sybil Hill

List of members

Demonstrating vacuuming


The Institute is celebrating 60 years since it’s humble beginnings on 3rd May 1961. Over the next few months, we will be looking back over each decade, considering some of the key events, the people and developments which have contributed to our Institute as we know it today. 

There is one man who can be credited with being the true founder of the Institute, Eric Hill, with a group of like-minded associates. Membership grew – by 1964 membership had increased to the grand total of 612. Further development was the inception of Branches established around the country. The first Branch was formed in Liverpool in 1962 by Harold Kirby, MD of Russell Kirby, along with his Technical Director, Institute stalwart John Edwards, of who we will hear much more in time to come. Enthusiastic members with the opportunities to meet and share their expertise over a lunchtime or early evening event. Some were predominantly social affairs others included evaluation of new cleaning techniques or equipment. Growth of branches continued throughout the 60s including Yorkshire, Oxford, South West Midlands (and later East Midlands), Kent, Wales, Sussex and Solent. Formal record was made of the Scotland Branch formation in 1964. The two dominating forces, however, were the London and City of London Branches. St Olave’s Hall being the venue for many BICSc functions including the AGM for many years.

By 1964 the Institute formed not only the Council to run its affairs but established committees covering responsibility for membership, finances and education. Eric Hill took on the role of Vice President for Life, later to become Life Vice President. In 1966 John King succeeded Arthur Murty as Chairman for a tenure of four years leading up to the end of the decade. 

The end of the 1960s marked a turning point in the cleaning industry with major developments in technical advances. Education and training had been very little more than the supervisor telling the operative what to do. Introduction of qualifications were emerging with City and Guilds 368 launched in 1967. What was to become the COPC scheme was developing and the 1970s were just around the corner…

Key events that happened in the sixties

 Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to walk on the moon

The Beatles release their first record

The DNA genetic code is broken

Dr. No the first James Bond film premieres in the UK

Check out BICSc in the seventies

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