The 2018 LCN Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ken Cupitt, FGCL, Chairman of Council & Examination Board, Guild of Cleaners and Launderers who received a standing ovation from an appreciative audience, a clear indication of the esteem in which he is held by his peers.

The annual LCN Awards have been devised to recognise best practice in the industry and to reward it – and last Thursday 27 September that goal was more than achieved as the winners of the different categories were announced to high acclaim.

The 2018 LCN Awards were sponsored by sponsored by HJ Weir, Ideal Manufacturing, Tonrose, Bryant Plastics and supported by CINET and The Guild of Cleaners and Launderers.

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.

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 very 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.

“Ken Cupitt is our lifetime achiever this year. I know this 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.”

Friend and colleague Roger Cawood said: “I have known Ken since the 1980’s 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 as you know he 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.

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.

“A good chap totally dedicated to improving the industry and I would put him up there with the best.”

Brian Pearce FGCL said that Ken began his distinguished career in the industry during the 1960’s. “In those days you had to learn your craft both academically and practically, thus he began as a trainee and soon earned the accolade of an icon from his fellow trainees for his commitment to hard work and thirst for knowledge, he worked through the day and afterwards attended evening classes at the local college. This thirst for knowledge continues to this day, if anyone in the industry, including myself, needs the answer to a problem then Ken is the Oracle of choice to go to for an answer.

“Ken remains one of the Guild’s longest serving members, from joining as a normal member it was not long before his talents showed through and he was asked to join the National Council, where he remains to this day as chairman, having graced every senior position on the Council. It is true to say that the Guild has survived, where many trade associated groups have failed, this is solely due to Ken’s leadership skills and dedication to sharing his knowledge and experience to others in the Laundry and Dry Cleaning industries either through the Guild or other associated bodies.

“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.”

A STANDING OVATION: The 2018 LCN Lifetime Achievement Award went to Ken Cupitt, FGCL. He is pictured receiving his award from LCN Editor Kathy Bowry and with 2018 LCN Awards presenter, journalist and broadcaster Kate Thornton