The 2018 LCN Awards, a real Rolls-Royce of an affair, were sponsored by HJ Weir, Ideal Manufacturing, Tonrose, Bryant Plastics and supported by CINET and The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers.

The event would not happen without our sponsors, so we are grateful to them for their generous support. LCN asked the main sponsors, who have been with us since the Awards launched three years ago, just why they committed to our Awards scheme.

Jackie Smith, quality and improvement manager at Bryant Plastics, said: “For Bryant Plastics, it is all about giving something back to the industry. Many of our customers were nominated this year and it is good to be here and show our support and celebrate with them.”

Paul Haden, managing director of Tonrose, said: “It is a pleasure to be here again and to see so many industry people together. We are committed to the industry and this is a good opportunity to meet customers and to demonstrate our investment in this industry.”

Ross Weir, managing director of HJ Weir was also keen to stress his affinity with the industry and appreciation for his clients, saying: “It is important that we, as a UK manufacturer, support UK textile care businesses and, of course, it is something that we enjoy doing.”

Phillip Kalli, managing director of Ideal Manufacturing, which this year stepped up to become  a main sponsor of the event, commented: “We like these Awards because they are all abut the people working at the coalface. it is not about suppliers. We are keen to champion best practice and the people who work in professional laundries.”

Over the next six pages you can catch up on the achievements of the winners and get a taste of the celebrations. Our LCN Awards website,, also has a record of the night and a downloadable picture gallery.

A video of the evening is available online. The link can be found at


Standing ovation for Ken Cupitt at the LCN Awards

A highlight of the evening – just one among many – was when LCN Editor Kathy Bowry presented Ken Cupitt with the LCN Lifetime Achievement Award 2018 Award for his commitment and dedication to the textile care industry – especially its people.

Ken Cupitt, FGCL, Chairman of Council & Examination Board, Guild of Cleaners and Launderers received a standing ovation from an appreciative audience, a clear indication of the esteem in which he is held by the industry he has made his own.

In presenting the award, Kathy said: “This award goes to a man who could be compared to mild mannered Clark Kent. Somebody who, according to his friends and colleagues shuns centre stage but is a veritable superman when it comes to the Guild of Cleaners and Launderers. For anyone who has attended a Guild conference or training, he will be a familiar figure, on the podium, and beware the presenter who overruns his spot when this guy is in charge.

“I know Ken will be an extremely popular choice. This man has made the industry his own and his hard work has been of great value to many textile care operators in their careers.”


Very well respected

Friend and colleague Roger Cawood, LCN contriburor and author of our regular slot ‘Trade Secrets’ said: “I have known Ken since the 1980s and over the years we have worked together on many occasions.  For many years, Ken ran his own commercial/industrial laundry and is a very well respected industry member and holds a senior position in The Worshipful Company of Launderers.

“Ken has always been a fervent supporter of The Guild and a strong believer in its role as the main provider of education, information, and support services within the laundry and dry cleaning industries for which, in his retirement, he continues to work tirelessly and without remuneration. In fact, it is true to say that due to Ken’s unstinting efforts and tireless devotion to the affairs of The Guild, that today the guild is still able to provide strong industry support when so many similar industry bodies have fallen by the wayside.

“Ken is one of the most hard working and honourable men I have been fortunate enough to be associated with and, In short, I cannot think of a more worthy recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Award.


Eminently suitable choice

Chris Tebbs of the International Drycleaners Congress said: “I think that what he has done for the industry over the years, particularly with the GCL, makes him an eminently suitable choice and I support this wholeheartedly.

“He has never been one to seek glory for himself or even to push himself forward but has often stepped in to do jobs that benefit the industry and others just because it is the thing to do and, one area that probably goes unsung more than most is the tremendous effort that he has put  into the GCL Examinations as well as his considerable support for the GCL and its primary aim to improve the knowledge and skills of the Industry in the UK.”

Brian Pearce FGCL said that when Ken began his career in the 1960’s. “You had to learn your craft both academically and practically. He was soon recognised as an icon by his fellow trainees for his commitment to hard work and his thirst for knowledge. He worked through the day and then attended evening classes at the local college. If anyone in the industry, including myself, needs the answer to a problem then Ken is the Oracle of choice to go to.

“It is true to say that the Guild has survived, where many trade associated groups have failed, and this is solely due to Ken’s leadership skills and dedication to sharing his knowledge and experience through the Guild or other organisations.

“I know that Ken’s ambition is to make a difference, I would like him to know that he has and continues to do so. Long may it continue.”