Twenty three members of the Institute of Groundsmanship from across central and southern England attended a one-day 'In Focus' workshop, hosted by Ransomes Jacobsen at their European head office and manufacturing facility in Ipswich.
After coffee and a joint welcome from Jason King, the company's Customer Support and Training Manager and the IOG's Kevin Duffill, the members boarded a coach for a short drive to the Playford Road training centre of Ipswich Town Football Club.
Here they met Alan Ferguson, the Club's head Groundsman, who discussed the pitch renovation taking place at the training centre and at the Portman Road stadium. After a tour of the facilities to look at the various equipment employed by the club, it was back onto the coach to visit Portman Road and see the renovation in progress.
A light lunch in the Ransomes Jacobsen training school was followed by a presentation of the company's product range before the group split into two; both groups alternating between a guided tour of the Ransomes Jacobsen manufacturing plant and a visit the Scotts fertiliser company's research and development centre at nearby Levington. Both groups then assembled back at the Ransomes Jacobsen training school for tea and the conclusion of an intense day.
Commenting on the event, Vic Purse, proprietor of Cambridge-based Purse Turf-Care said, "This was an absolutely fantastic day, correctly targeted at experienced professionals with more than a passing interest in renovation. Alan Ferguson's knowledge, experience and communication were first class as was that of the people at both Scotts and Ransomes Jacobsen.
"Jason King and his team obviously put a lot of thought and hard work into making the day run smoothly, which it undoubtedly did, and the hospitality was superb all day. It was a very intense day, but also an altogether valuable experience. Absolutely superb."