Organising Tours

By Diain | editorial | May 24, 2012

As I was working so close, I couldn’t leave the area without seeing inside Dounreay. What’s the best way to do this? Organise a tour for me and my fellow nucleargraduates. It also gave me the opportunity to show off the fantastic Vuclan site and the surrounding county (Caithness). The initial organisation was fairly tough; working out a suitable date, getting the senior management of two sites on board, making sure everyone was able to get on the sites. I wasn’t too involved in the organisation of the tour of DSRL, I was the point of contact, but I had to ensure everything was in place for the tour of Vulcan. Lucky I had worked for both of the two gys who know most about the site, so it wasn’t hard to get them to agree to conduct the tours of STF and DSMP. Ensuring the correct PPE was available was my first real challange, stores didn’t have enough shoes so I had to beg, borrow and steal shoes from other people. With almost everything in place I left for the weekend.

Everyone arrived on the Sunday so I hosted a BBQ at my house. BBQs are one of my favourite things and I have spent alot of time experimenting with what works. My BBQed haggis went down a treat, not so popular were the courgettes (although I’m not sure why). I left early on Monday morning to make sure everything was in place for the start of the tour. I had to escort all 12 visitors myself so getting people through the turnstiles took some time. The only hiccup was that I was expecting coffee to be available both in the morning and afternoon but had only organised it for the afternoon, Damn. The engineering manager was kind enough to do a short introduction to the site at the start of the day and the two tour guides tunred up on time.

After the tour of Vulcan I had organised an early tea at Caithness Horizons which was followed by a trip to the bar where the barmaid had to explain what 80/- to a few of the guys, I hadn’t realised it was a Scottish thing.

The next day was an easy day for me, although it started with the realisation that I had forgotten to book myself a seat in the taxi so I had to drive. It was fantastic getting to see inside the iconic dome of the DFR and seeing the fuel caves of PFR. After lunch we had a couple of talks on the technical and socio-economic challanges facing the site. Both were very interesting, which was lucky as it was me who suggested the two topics.

Dinner that night was at Northern Sands hotel who do a very reasonably priced high tea which was great and this was followed by a drive out to Dunnet Head, the most northerly point of mainland UK, with it’s great views over to Orkney and beyond.

I was rewarded for my efforts with a book of the local area and a framed print of Scrabster Lighthouse, both will be cherished. Thanks to all the guys who came up for making all the organisation worthwhile

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