(Check out Jonathan Furness‘s Jonathan’s Blog for another review….and here are Jonathan’s Pictures from the Christmas Party and Graham Hart’s Pictures from the Christmas Party, and also Colin Elsey’s Pictures from the Christmas Party.)

So, hello and welcome to my blog entry about the Ultralab (1990-2006) Christmas Party 2004. This year we headed out to The Water’s Edge Fishing Lodge, which is right next to the Hanningfield Reservoir in West Hanningfield.

It was a nice friendly venue, the staff were great, and the food was good. The Ultralab (1990-2006) team is so big, whe spanned both floors when eating.

Ultranaut’s from around the UK and Ireland travelled to be together for the event. It is traditional for Ultranaut’s to be Secret Santa’s. Every year all Ultranauts pull a name from a hat of a fellow Ultranaut at random, and are then challenged to secretly buy a gift for that person, fitting for them. We’re not allowed to spend more than £15 and the traditional present exchange takes place at the Christmas Party.

This year I recieved a really cool Swiss utility-kit on a keyring. Each year at The BETT Show I always use one of these cool bits of kit to cut wires and screw stuff together during the setup, and I cant find my old one….so cheers loads to whoever bought me that!….you secret santa you! :-)….Perfect.

Secret Santa is great, you watch around the room to see the person opening the present you bought, hoping they will not twig it was from you, while the secret santa that bought for you, watches from a distance (or close) too! A great moment every year.

This year had to end in a bang, we’ve had a really busy year at Ultralab (1990-2006) and it was also the end of an era, a sad moment for everyone there.

Professor Stephen Heppell reflected on the past 22 years of Ultralab (1990-2006)’s existance, including the times when Ultralab (1990-2006) was not known as Ultralab (1990-2006) and was based from a desk in a corridor, a wooden hut, and eventually an entire floor in Chelmsford with workers all over the UK, a lab in New Zealand and projects worldwide. Stephen spoke about the great projects that had been born at Ultralab (1990-2006), the key moments over the past 22 years, and his pride for the people he works with, “individually you are all very talented, together you are awesome”. A special moment for everybody.

Stephen also spoke about the uniqueness of Ultralab (1990-2006), and how most people who visit always say:

  • How unique the lab is;
  • How great the lab is;
  • Can I give you a copy of my CV

It has been really tough to pick a picture from the vast selection that are now online celebrating our 2004 Christmas party. So here are a few:

On the way home I was stopped by the Police for going a bit quick (10 miles-per-hour over the speed limit – I honesty don’t believe this!). I was breath checked and my reading displayed as ‘Zero’. Apparently Ultralab (1990-2006)‘s Gina Revill was also stopped in a different direction by the police before being sent on her way. I’m really pleased that the police do this, and praise people that don’t drink and drive, I personally think that people that are tested late at night, and are positive (like me) get bonuses in the same way that those that are reprimanded get points on their records.

Thanks loads to Ann, Lys and Maureen for everything they did to organise this event for everyone.

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