In honour of the event, the organisers had invited two keynote speakers. Falklands’ veteran Simon Weston OBE gave a moving account of his journey to rebuild his life after surviving the destruction of the Sir Galahad at Bluff Cove.

James Timpson of the Timpson Group gave a detailed and humorous explanation of the group’s management strategy which focusses on supporting the employee who serves the public – “upside down management.”

The conference attracted two international speakers. Peter Wennekes of Cinet gave a European view of the drycleaning market and Chris Tebbs of the International Dryclearners Congress described the state of international care labelling with some examples of the confusing and sometimes contradictory care labels that appear on even expensive and exclusive garments.

Other themes included training and qualifications and how failure to deal with common garment problems can affect the industry.

The conference is accompanied by a sponsors’ exhibition and this was given a higher profile by setting it in the main hotel lobby, a move welcomed both by exhibitors and delegates.

A full report will appear in the June edition of Laundry & Cleaning News.