Last hurrah for Sheffield University alumni group

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A three-day reunion of ‘Old Lags’ from Sheffield University is to be their last after many years of get-togethers.

The Sheffield University Metallurgy Department Old Lags Society has run since 2000, but their September 2017 reunion marked the end of an era as they decided to call it a day.

The Society consists of 59 alumni and staff who were part of the Department of Metallurgy at the University in the late 1950s and 1960s, including a number of distinguished people from business and academia.

Dr Trid Mukherjee, past CEO of Tata Steel in India and the UK, and his predecessor, Dr Jim Irani, attended the final meet, as did Dr Malcolm Gray, recently honoured by the University and a leading researcher in microalloyed high strength steels. In 2016 he received a top Chinese government accolade, the Foreign Expert Friendship Award, by Vice Premier Ma Kai, for services to steel and pipeline industries.

The group gathered to reminisce about studying in Sheffield, look at what has changed, and visit local engineering companies, to maintain their interest in the subject they studied.

Coun Dr Trevor Bagshaw said: “We locally based ‘old lags’ conceived the idea of our first reunion in 1999. I was privileged to have been elected Lord Mayor of Sheffield (1999 -2000) and keen to see closer engagement between our world class steel industry and our universities. A visit to the Town Hall was a great success and still, the close engagement between “town and gown” is important for the future of our city.’

This year’s programme of events included a tour of the Sir Robert Hadfield Building, current home of the Department, a tour of The Diamond, the University’s state-of- the-art Engineering facility for interdisciplinary teaching and learning, and a visit to local company ITM Power, who develop hydrogen engines.

They also spent time at Haddon Hall, Poole Cavern in Buxton and enjoyed two celebratory dinners at Hassop Hall. Following a guided tour of Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet on September 14, members of the Society said their fond farewells.

Chris Moore, a founder member of SUMDOLS, former Chair of the Stainless Steel Wire Industry Association, and reunion organiser, said: “It’s been wonderful to stay in touch with everyone, and keep up to date with what they have been up to.”