Open Letter from the Chairman of ISSEE Ltd – Alan Bates
Some 20 years ago, I would enjoy my daily runs around and about in Henley-on-Thames. On a number of occasions, I would be joined by Alan Hatcher who was a tall, talkative enthusiastic ex-RAF officer who started to sow a seed in my mind that I should become involved with his idea to start a training company specializing in explosives. I confess, a more distant thought had never crossed my mind, even after a long career of working with and supporting a very wide range of businesses.
Such was his persistence, I agreed, loaned him some start-up funds and found myself as Chairman of the “International School for Search and Explosives Education” – much better known as “ISSEE”. Little did I suspect 20 years later that Alan’s idea; the sown seed; following the often trod, difficult road of many start-up SME businesses; I would still be with ISSEE and writing this Anniversary Chairman’s Letter.
Of course, over the 20 years, ISSEE has changed. And I believe always for the better.
From our early beginnings in borrowed classrooms at the Salisbury Technical College, to our time in Tidworth and then 10 years at Chilmark, our business has grown, our ISSEE family enlarged, our alumni and client base widened and deepened. As I write, our time at our latest and most impressive training facility yet, Heythrop Park is coming to a close and we are about to relocate to a new facility in Bloxham. Again, we relocate to accommodate more student delegates, a wider range of our traditional explosives, security and munition management training courses and new training courses and services in logistic management.
Over these past years we have welcomed delegates from many countries and organisations. All trusting ISSEE’s loyal team of outstanding instructors and support staff to deliver world class, accredited, experience-based training and pastoral support to enable them to return home to operate in a safe, confident and competent manner. From Afghanistan, Bahrain, Brunei, Canada, China, Columbia, Denmark, Estonia, Ethiopia, Hong Kong, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Montenegro, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden, Syria, UAE, Uganda, UK, USA and Zambia, we thank you for trusting ISSEE and invite you celebrate with us. Of course, we welcome you all back in the future!
I am confident that 2020 will be an exciting year for ISSEE. Recalling those early, ambitious days of the new millennium with our founder, Alan Hatcher, I see as much ambition for our future with our current CEO, Gordon Storey. Being a part of ISSEE is something to be proud of and we will all celebrate this 20th anniversary with pride and invite you to celebrate with us.
With all best wishes to our student delegates, our customers, our business partners, our suppliers and our staff – old and new.