Borough winners prove excellence

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SOUTH Tyneside marine students, and a leader in the field of alternative energies, were among the winners when the cream of North East marine industry gathered on Tyneside at the weekend.

The event, at Newcastle Civic Centre, saw the North East Award for Excellence in the Marine Industry go to Blyth-based NAREC, the National Renewable Energy Centre.

Guests heard that NAREC has led the research and development of alternative energy sources since its inception, 10 years ago, by the now-defunct regional development agency, OneNorthEast.

The new technologies include photovoltaic, solar thermal, wave and tidal energy applications, wind turbines and biofuels, and Inomanship, a low carbon solution for shipping.

The dinner is organised annually by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology/Royal Institution of Naval Architects joint branch in the region.

Company hosts included Rolls Royce, Lloyds Register, UK Docks Ltd, Newcastle University, the Port of Tyne Authority and the American Bureau of Shipping.

The evening is also an opportunity to present the annual Alan Stokoe Award For Naval Architecture in memory of former South Tyneside College lecturer, Alan.This year the prize went to college students Farhan Ahmed Khan and Gagandeep Singh, both of whom had achieved equal top marks in their examinations.

South Tyneside College principal, Lindsey Whiterod, accepted the award in their absence.

But the evening was also a glittering one for TS Collingwood Sea Cadets, based in South Shields, who traditionally provide the guard of honour for the evening.

The unit is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year and, this time, also treated guests to an impressive display of music and drill.

A tombola held over the course of the night also raised more than £2,200, which will be divided between TS Collingwood and the Salvation Army Monkwearmouth Band, which also provided music.

The third recipient is the Guild of Benevolence, which helps thousands of engineers and their families, and which was formed following the sinking of the Titanic, to assist the dependants of the liner’s engineers, who stayed at their posts as the ship went down.