The most important meal of the day
To keep out the autumnal chills, the early birds here at the head office met for a cooked breakfast. What a delicious way to start a Monday morning and a great opportunity to socialise for those that commute and are not always able to make the evenings out.
The nominations for Ice Bucket Challenges swept through social media and through GRM at a tremendous pace. Sorry no videos!
With Autumn just around the corner it was time for Fantasy Football teams to be picked.
Richard Upton, once again set up two leagues, a classic league based on total number of points and a head to head, working on points for winning/drawing against other people in the league.
The league which is open to employees and their families had 13 entrants this year all competing for the 1st prize of: Kudos, adoration of your fellow colleagues and bragging rights.
Matt Tomkins team, ‘The Double Bungers’ has taken an early 10 point lead in the classic league and whilst Richard leads the head to head league by 2 points.
Climbing the walls – http://www.theclimbingunit.com
A group of fearless GRM’ers have been meeting to scale the walls of a local climbing centre over in Derby.
Great for those sporty types who enjoy something a bit different and some of our more experienced climbers were on hand to show the beginners the ropes. (HaHa)
The Annual Rounders match and picnic
A great start to the summer holiday season, and so lovely to see the kids (both big and little) enjoying the fun, fresh air and food. This year we were once again blessed with good weather, teams were headed up by two of GRM’s younger members Sarah and Phil, team Sarah was victorious.
Amusing to see what is fun for some, is deadly competitive for others. (they know who they are)
London to Paris Cycle Challenge
4 intrepid cyclists, Geoff, Matt, Courtney and Paul with support vehicle driven by Tony embarked on 2014’s cycling challenge.
Day 1: London Eye to Newhaven (overnight in YHA) 102 miles
Not an overly enjoyable ride through London but Courtney said that one of his personal high points was cycling across the hills of the North Downs National Park.
Day 2: Newhaven Ferry to Dieppe, cycle to Beauvais 77 miles
As they were waiting for the ferry, the weather decided to add a little drama to the journey in the form of a thunderstorm and the group was drenched. Bad times!
After docking in France they were back on their bikes and heading for Beauvais. Paul said he enjoyed this leg of the journey, riding against the clock to reach the hotel before their room was given away.
Day 3: Beauvais to Notre Dame, Paris 66 miles
Comedy was provided at breakfast by Tony’s cry of ‘Coffee Monsieur’ accompanied with hand gestures a bit cheeky really as he hadn’t even paid to sleep at the hotel!
Day 4: Tourists spots of Paris and Eurostar home
West Highland Way
Sarah (Assistant Geologist) is in training for her Mountain Leader Award and so recruited some of her colleagues to follow her lead in a hike up Kinder Scout in the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District.
The route was just over 14km and was taken at a leisurely pace, so that everyone could enjoy the views as they walked along the plateau. The group left from Edale in the morning and finished with an evening meal in a local pub and a stay at a nearby campsite.
Cheese and wine evening
A small group of staff stayed after hours for this first ever GRM wine and cheese evening. They spilt in to teams for board games whilst grazing their way through delicious selection of wine and cheeses.
A relaxed event with friendly chat and negligible amount of cheating. I’m sure that this event will be one we repeat.
Let them eat cake.
This month marked the 6th anniversary of GRM moving to Laurus House which we celebrated by eating loads of cream cakes – Hooray!
Then – Even more cake!!
There has been a sudden outbreak of baking amongst the GRM staff. It seems we cannot go a week without finding an excuse to partake of a slice of homemade cake. The most recent offering from Alex, Assistant Geologist is pictured.
Alex thoughtfully provided a very nice selection of tempting treats. Some might say it would be rude not to try a bit of each!
If this cake eating continues we may have to start GRM Diet Club!
A firm favourite with a large dose of competitiveness thrown in. Held at The Burton Bridge Brewery.
Derek from the Foundation Design team was the highest scorer this year although his team was denied the trophy as they were beaten by Sylvia, Gill, Tony, Geoff and Bill.
Off on his bike.
We waved farewell to a very smiley Lewis in February as he embarked on a 9 month cycling expedition taking him to India.
We are following his progress with interest and looking forward to hearing about his adventures on his return.
The great sausage sizzle!
The usual sausage and mash replaced this time by hot dogs. (Less washing up – ha ha)
Served up at the office, with an opportunity to have a catch up with colleagues and get to know some of our newest recruits.
The 2013 Christmas party was held at The Lyric
Rooms, Ashby-de-la-Zouch. A dinner and dance providing a great night out and a
chance to get dressed up in ones finest attire.
Lots of festive cheer. If we are honest, maybe a teeny bit more festive cheer than some could handle.
Wear it pink 2013
GRM staff wore it pink on 25th October in support of the national breast cancer awareness campaign, but it didn’t stop there…
Homemade cakes were sold 50p for a pair.
Fundraising efforts were coordinated by Mandy who provided games such as ‘Guess the name of the cake’ ‘How many pink sweets in the jar’ and an ingenious staff quiz of her own design.
Our combined efforts raised £124.65 which the GRM Directors doubled!
A special mention should go to Tony our Senior Field Technician who went about his daily duties ON SITE in pink dungarees with pink hair! Tony even wore his pink ensemble to the pub on Friday evening and his efforts meant he raised an incredible £284 single handed.
Grand total: £533.30!
Family Fun Day
Making the most of the lovely summer we have had this year the family fun day took place in the grounds of Laurus House. With a Bouncy Castle, BBQ, loads of games, sweets and hyper kids, just as a family fun day should be.
GRM Staff gets on their Bikes Again.
Following on from last years ride across Devon, in early July a team of mountain bikers from GRM (Geoff, Matt, Paul and Tim) decided to take on the challenge of riding east-west across Wales, along the Trans Cambrian Way. This ride of around 105 miles was done over three days, riding from Knighton on the border to Machynlleth near the coast (via Rhayader and Llangurig).
Of the total distance, 65% was off road mostly on rough bridleways (none of the manicured trails that we saw on the previous rides!). It was tough with some seriously steep hills (even Paul walked one of them), river crossings and exciting downhill sections. Of course they also chose to do it over one of the hottest weekends of the summer….
It was a great ride and well worth the effort.
As for 2014, there are mutterings about some of the team riding to Paris.
Annual Rounders Match and Picnic
Blessed with a beautiful balmy evening this year, the two teams comprising of employees and their families played hard to achieve winner status.
As usual a wonderful picnic spread was produced with each of us donating a dish.
All in all a brilliant evening and great start to the summer holidays.
CJ’s Sheffield Trip – Train/Tram/Bus/Walk/Eat/Drink/Be Merry
Mr Jerram the trip organiser and leader of this popular staff outing once again led the troops around some fantastic real ale serving venues in and around Sheffield. This all day event took its toll on Mr Jerram who dozed off on the train home. His staff were in no way tempted to sneak off and leave him on the train. Honest.
If you would like further details, Mr Jerram has written his report on the day. Perhaps you may like to repeat the route yourselves.
TRAIN and TRAM TRIP TO SHEFFIELD byChris Jerram – Director (and ace reporter)
The masses well at least 5 of us assembled for the “all you can eat” breakfast at our local Beefeater in Burton upon Trent. Once full some of us walked at a brisk pace to the Railway Station while others (Mandy and Sally) lagged behind a little (well actually a lot).
With the famous Derbyshire Wayfarer in hand £10 return to Sheffield we set off on the 10.48 and arrived in Sheffield at 11.52.
Public House No. 1
Once in Sheffield a quick Tram trip took us to The Hillsborough Tavern. We stayed here longer than envisaged because Matthew who hadn’t been at breakfast had decided to order a burger at the same time as a 70th Birthday party were being served. The presence of the aged customers (no not me) meant that Sky TV was not on so we were at least spared the Aussies just pipping the Lions in the Second Test.
Public House No. 2
The party then strolled (all downhill) to The Gardeners Rest another fine hostelry where the mandatory Morris Men and Women arrived but fortunately we high tailed it out of there before they got into their full stride. By this time the sun had come out, and the day was sunny and warm.
I think (from the comments I heard) that the party were starting to appreciate the architectural value of the trip (boarded up is the new chic) and commented that the pubs on my list were like oases in a sea of dereliction!
Public House No. 3
From the Gardeners (more walking) we processed (Morris dancing term) to The Fat Cat (my favourite pub), which was packed but we were able to order lunch during our two pint stay. I was just singing the praises of Kelham Island Pale Rider declaring it the finest pint in the world, when Lewis one of our new GRMers turned up to join us. He had been in the area minding his Dad during his weekly cycle ride and was amazed to find that we were still coherent and could walk a straight line.
On we went with a very very short walk to
Public House No. 4
The Kelham Island Tavern. The Morris Men caught up with us here but thankfully where we sat in the garden we were spared. The garden was very full unsurprisingly!
By this time some of the party were complaining of blisters so (engaging selective deafness) I ignored the complaints and led the party off on a swift half mile walk to our next pub.
Public House No. 5
The Harlequin. My recollection is bit sketchy now but Lewis left the party here to catch a bus to some Derbyshire outpost where it had snowed only that morning !
We were now down to the starting line up, of myself, Mandy, Sally, Tony, Geoff and Matt. Of we tottered again towards the centre of Sheffield where a quick Tram ride took us to the station. Now you might think that would be it, BUT NO!
Public House No. 6
More beer in Platform 1B before the train at 8.30 and back home.
A fine day was had by all and for those of you that missed it well there is always next year if you think you can keep up!!
New artwork from talented local photographer
GRM’s freshly painted office walls have been adorned with a series of large canvas prints of landscape photographs taken by our very own Dr Tim Rogers, Senior Geologist.
Tim has his own website and his work is available to view and buy at www.land-water-air.co.uk . Or of course if you visit our offices you’ll get to see the finished articles.
Magnoliagate (or Fifty Shades of Cream)
The time arrived for a re-fresh of the GRM office building decor sparking debate amongst the staff over the merits of Magnolia and the virtues of Vanilla. Buttermilk was thrown into the mix with various other not-quite-white options.
After much deliberation, Gardenia became the paint colour of choice. Not too cold. Not too yellow. Just right.
Let’s not talk about the feature walls. Which are definitely NOT too blue.
January 2013 – GRM “Art” Competition
For some reason the Directors at GRM thought it would be a good idea to encourage the GRM staff to explore their creative sides, with an Art Competition.
The theme, ‘GRM and related fields of expertise’, was thrown open to all staff to interpret in a medium of their choosing.
Some of our entries are presented here with the joint winners being Sally-ann Hodges (CAD Design Manager) for her GRM tree of expertise and Nicola and Alex (Geotechnical Engineers) with their excellent photograph.
Art Competition – Entry Disqualified: Josh (aged 3 1/2)
Directors son enters “something he prepared earlier” into GRM art competition. – Josh, Bill Peacocks son is now 18 years old.
26th July 2012
2nd Annual GRM Long Distance Bike Ride
After last years trip across northern England riding the Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Sunderland, a crack team of geologists, engineers and technicians from GRM have again leaped onto their bikes. This year we decided to ride the Devon Coast to Coast, heading south from Ilfracombe to Plymouth.
This year the team had a new addition, GRM Director Bill Peacock. Being raised in the Devon area he had ridden some sections of the route before (mostly the flat bits!!).
The team (Bill, Geoff, Paul, Tony, Matt and Tim; with Fiona driving the support vehicle) set off from Ilfracombe on a sunny Saturday morning in early July, after a hearty breakfast. The ride started with a climb that hinted at the way the route was going to treat us. Sixty five miles later (after 1,300m of climbing) we arrived at Betty Cottles Inn ( a place that does a fine mixed grill!), just outside Oakhampton.
Next morning after several beers, a good nights sleep and another large breakfast we set off again with only Dartmoor between us and Plymouth. We thought the final 20 miles would be mostly downhill. We were wrong….
After another 41 miles (with 780m of climbing) we arrived at the end of the rise, having pedalled along the seafront of Plymouth, enjoying the sunshine.
Although there were a few aches the team had a great time. Amazingly there were no breakdowns or punctures.
Where next year? Possibly something to do with Welsh Mountains.
GRM CELEBRATES 21 YEARS
2011 has seen GRM celebrate it’s 21st birthday with a series of events held throughout the year. These have included old favorites such as visits to Indian and Chinese restaurants, a sausage and mash evening, and for the more energetic staff and children, nights of laser questing, skittles, and the annual GRM Rounder’s match.
To make sure there was something for everyone, the year has also seen visits to Nottingham’s greyhound racing track and to Alton Towers, with the highlight of the year being a special birthday barbecue held in August for staff and their families.
The barbecue was held at GRM’s offices and included bouncy castles for children of all ages (2 – 64), a paddling pool, marquee, and a selection of games to go with the music and copious quantities of food and drink. We are glad to say that everyone survived the efforts of GRM’s volunteer cooks and the entertainment.
At the end of barbecue, the founders of the company, Bill Peacock and Chris Jerram, were presented with a 21st Birthday Cake to celebrate the success and achievements of GRM in making it to 21 years of age, particularly given the severe downturn in the economy over the last few years. The cutting of the cake was greeted with loud applause by the onlookers, many who have been with Bill and Chris for over 10 years.
GRM has seen a lot of changes over the 21 years, in regulations and guidance, in technology, in expanding the range of clients we work for and in the colleagues we have worked with. Our achievements over this time have been built on the solid foundations of our “No Problems, Only Solutions” motto, and our keen attention to providing a personal service that covers everything our clients need. We are looking forward to celebrating many more anniversaries together.
The last event of this celebratory year is the GRM Christmas Party, more details to follow about this.
We would like to thank all those who have helped to organise, run and have attended the events we have held this year. Without you we would not have been able to have such a varied and interesting range of activities, activities which exemplify GRM’s ability to organise and work together for others.
This year has also seen members of GRM take part in a number of charitable activities such as Movember (men’s prostate cancer), Pink Day (breast cancer), and raising money as part of a group doing a Coast to Coast bike ride for Rainbows Children’s Hospice.
Check this page again to see what we do next year………..
2nd August 2011
GRM Annual Summer Rounders Match.
GRM’s summer rounders match was held outside again this year, adjacent to the Water Festival at Shobnall (well done all for resisting the real ale tent!).
The gruesome twosome of Geoff and Tony were separated to be the two team captains and Su Sharp was “volunteered” to umpire. As usual Dr Peacock’s Westcountry rounders rules were in force (i.e. make it up as you go along). With player ages ranging from just 4 to about 104 (CJ), and the use of metal bats and a hard ball, it was a miracle there were no fatalities. The main injury was to Su’s ears as over exuberant players attempted to alter her understanding of real events. The first game was won by Geoff’s team 53 to 52, and then players and spectators devoured the substantial picnic to refuel for the final game. Time constraints meant this game was a one hit per player game and Tony’s team got revenge by winning 12 points to 7. At this annual event it is fun to see active staff, family and friends, but fantastic to see the kids grow in stature and confidence.
19th July 2011
GRM go to Alton Towers
A wet Saturday 16th July saw a few GRM staff and their families brave the English weather to visit Alton Towers. The thrill seekers amongst us queued for the new “Thirteen” ride, then straight onto “Rita”. Meanwhile the younger members followed by their parents managed the “Water Rapids” and the “Run Away Train” rides. The sun did come out during the visit and allowed us to enjoy the picnic we had all taken. Everyone had a great day, the kids really enjoyed themselves and some of the bigger kids (especially Geoff, who had lots of fun on the pirate ships – any excuse to get wet!!) enjoyed it even more.
13th July 2011
GRM team complete the C2C bike ride.
A team from GRM (Geoff Beckett, Tony Heron, Matt Tomkins, Paul Wardle and Tim Rogers), together with a few others (Tony’s sister and brother-in-law) have recently completed the Coast to Coast (C2C) bike ride from Whitehaven to Sunderland. The ride was done over three days (via Keswick, Penrith, and Nenthead), and covered a distance of almost 140 miles. As you can imagine the route included some quite big hills (which some people managed to pedal up), as well as some relatively relaxing downhill sections (especially on the approach to Sunderland).
While most of the team completed the ride just for the challenge (and fun?), Tony used the opportunity to raise some sponsorship for one of the charities supported by GRM , Rainbows.
Tony was our Senior Field technician and had been with GRM for almost 20 years. Although Tony was starting to spend more time in the office, he was never happier than when he was out in the field getting his hands dirty, be it gas monitoring, window sampling or soakaway testing.
His work hard attitude continued outside of work too and was the go to man if any help was needed such as painting, tiling, laying patios and he even turned his hand to building pizza ovens and aviaries. Tony could always be relied on if you needed a helping hand and regularly supported charities such as Rainbows and Breast Cancer Awareness.
When he was not working, Tony enjoyed playing bowls, pool and darts for pub teams in the Burton area. He also actively played badminton, regularly putting the younger members of GRM to shame.
Tony also enjoyed trips out with the GRM cyclists, firstly pedalling along and then supporting trips to Scotland, Paris, the D Day beaches and St Mon Michel. He was always a welcome sight on the rides, particularly when he appeared with a tray full of pastries.
Tony will be sorely missed by all at GRM and our thoughts are with his family at this sad time. Tony’s funeral is being held at 3pm at Bretby Crematorium on the 8th January 2018. As a result GRM’s office will be closed from 2pm on the 8th.
The event, attended by the Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, was to mark the start of work on a £53million Build to Rent (BTR) development.
GRM were invited as the geo-environmental engineer for the project, which will be run by Spitfire Urbane and built by Winvic.
The site, which had historical uses including a saw mill, an aluminium foundry and a silver and electro-plating works was also the site of the former Birmingham Museum of Science and Industry. More recently, the site has been used as car park.
There were a number of interesting challenges on the site, which included investigation of the footings for the 1838 built and listed Whitmore Warehouse, which is to be retained and refurbished as part of the development, the investigation of an infilled canal arm and deep service tunnels, which required detailed negotiation with stakeholders to ensure that the tunnels would not be compromised by the development.
GRM employees Emma Bartram, Mandy and Beverly Bryant and Sandra Dinsdale have signed up for the Jingle Jog at 11am on Sunday 3rd December 2017.
On the 11th April 2008, GRM relocated its head office west by 6 miles from Bretby Business Park, Bretby to Stellux House, Burton on Trent. The building offered 10,000 square feet (sqft) of mixed office and warehouse space over two floors and included a full height (2 storey) loading bay and storage area.
In September, GRM received a request for donations from Sylvia Blackshaw, Joint Chair of the PTFA at Rykneld Primary School , for their Christmas Fair.
Here at GRM, we are aware of the importance of our social responsibilities and so we were delighted to be able to help the school, which can be seen from our Head Office in Burton upon Trent, with their fundraising efforts.
In late June, GRM geologists Dr Tim Rogers (a former PPL holder and experienced photographer) and Alistair Walker (a current glider pilot) attended a training course run by Flyby Technology (Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) approved assessors) in Essex to learn how to fly un-manned aerial vehicles (UAVs or “drones”) safely and legally for commercial operations.
The training started with two days in the classroom covering subjects like air law, meteorology, navigation, operational planning and pilot skills, followed by an exam, which both Tim and Alistair passed with flying colours. Days 3 and 4 were outside learning to fly the drones in a professional, safe and legal manner; to add to the challenge in got a bit windy. Day 5 was the flight test which took place on an active airfield with vintage aircraft (Tiger Moths and Harvards, for those interested) flying around, together with the local birds of prey taking a close interest in the drones. Tim and Alistair both passed the test.
With the course completed our Operations Manual and other paperwork have been submitted to the CAA with our application for a Permission for Commercial Operation (PfCO).
Once GRM receives its PfCO we will be offering a wide range of services ranging from aerial photography and videos, to aerial mapping (producing detailed photomosaics and preliminary topographic surveys) and inspections of roofs, chimneys, flare stacks and other hard to get places.
Sisters GRiM - Solstice Walk, 17 Jun 2017
The Sisters would like to say a HUGE thank you to all those that donated and could not have done this without your support. Another big thank you goes to TAG Sports and Promotional Clothing for creating the t-shirts for the event and to GRM for paying the administration fee.
In total the Sisters GRiM Solstice Walk raised £1856 for St Giles Hospice, which was rounded up to £2000 by GRM. The sisters smashed their target by 200%
For donations, please click here > https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/GRM-Sisters-GRiM
St Giles Hospice provides high-quality care for local people living with cancer & other serious illnesses & support for their families & helpers. Free of charge care is offered in Sutton Coldfield, Walsall, Whittington, between Lichfield and Tamworth & in patients’ own homes across the region.
GRM recently investigated a site located in Moira, Leicestershire on which our Client proposed to construct residential properties. Historically, the site was previously a bus maintenance and storage depot, and contamination commensurate with this land use was anticipated to be present.
In addition, to allow for the bus depot to be constructed, part of the site had been filled with largely uncontrolled waste to form a suitable development platform and so it was considered likely that other contamination, such as asbestos, could be present. Ultimately, the ground investigation confirmed a general absence of significant contamination, with the exception of an area hydrocarbon contamination associated with former fuel tanks and supply lines.
GRM worked with a local remediation specialist to design a
bio-remediation treatment programme that would allow the hydrocarbon impacted
soils to be excavated, treated and re-used on site. The strategy was successful
in its aims and resulted in the cost of the development being reduced
Everyone at GRM would like to wish Alex and Joanna Robins a happy and prosperous future following their recent wedding.
Alex (a Geologist with GRM) and Joanna Robins, however, started their marriage in an unusual way by foregoing a traditional honeymoon in favour of walking the 160 miles from their wedding reception in Stroud (Gloucestershire) to their home near Derby, a journey which took them 10 days to complete.
The walk was a fundraising drive in aid of Rutland Memorial Hospital and the mental health charity - Heads Together Campaign.
Alex and Joanna’s exploits have helped to raise over £1800 so far and have even brought them regional recognition in the local press http://www.derbytelegraph.co.uk/derbyshire-couple-ditch-honeymoon-for-160-mile-charity-walk-from-wedding/story-30368556-detail/story.html .
If you would like to donate to two wonderful causes, then please visit their JustGiving page .
As GRM grows we require more personnel to provide the quality service that we pride ourselves on.
Over the past year we have added an additional 10 new team members and have continued our tradition of employing new graduates straight from university.
Our new starters are:
THOMAS ‘TOM’ ROBSON — Field Technician
ALISTAIR WALKER — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
LOUISA BINDI — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
SONIA SINGH — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
Both Louisa and Sonia have been given permanent contracts after completing a 6 month paid internship arranged through the University of Leicester
JAMES LAWRENCE - Senior Geotechnical Engineer
EDWARD 'ED' NETTLESHIP — Trainee CAD Technician
WAYNE BARRY — Field Technician
MAX WOODING — QA Co-Ordinator
RYAN BOLTON — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer
FAY CHAPPEL — Assistant Geo-Environmental Engineer