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gosh Olympic moment


TWENTY two years ago 5 men and a dog gathered together in a London pub to lament the fact that nobody ever throws parties for operations and post-fixture people.

Not to be outdone by their glamourous chartering colleagues, the six of them had a whip round and spent a massive sixty pounds on beer and chips. Fast forward to 2013 and the London Tanker Operations party (LTOPS) has done its founders proud; at the end of January, over 800 shipping folk braved icy London winds to quaff free beer and some very posh chips at LTOPS 2013.

This is without doubt the most well attended event in the London shipping calendar. In keeping with the founders’ sense of isolation, the operations community is clearly enjoying getting its own back on everyone else who never invites them to parties – only operations and post-fixtures staff gain free entry to LTOPS – everyone else has to pay to sponsor the event to send along their staff. And, gosh, how well it works. Over 1000 people registered to attend this year’s event and they came from all over the world. Like a mini-Posidonia, office receptions and parties have sprung up around LTOPS, the shipping industry never being one to miss an opportunity to squeeze in a quick drink.

LTOPS’ organisers remain volunteers and the event is entirely self-funding and not-for-profit. Anyone who has ever organised anything (as opposed to the vocal ones who never organise anything but complain about everything – you know who you are!!) will know that putting on an event on this scale is no mean feat, let alone doing it as a bunch of volunteers. So, hat’s off to the LTOPS gang. Thanks once again from all of us who attend and enjoy the fruits of your labour (and the posh fish n chips).

Particular thanks also for the second year running from Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children and shipping’s OSCAR Campaign. LTOPS invited OSCAR supporters to embarrass the free drinkers into donating the price of a drink or two on the evening and raised several hundred pounds in the process to top up the Campaign’s total (now over £600,000). To see the incredible research work that the OSCAR Campaign is funding in its second phase, read the GOSH blog. This is exactly the sort of important research that saved the life of the Campaign’s namesake, Oscar Parry – see how your generosity enables world-class researchers to develop life-saving treatments for more and more sick children.

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