Back to top

BCFA 50th Anniversary Annual Luncheon Review

The BCFA celebrated its 50th Anniversary at its Annual Luncheon held on Thursday 4th November 2021 at the wonderful Royal Lancaster, London.

After having to cancel last year’s event, the BCFA team were so pleased to be able to finally celebrate their 50-year legacy and the day proved a clear testimony to the continued success of The BCFA and its members.

Although access to the Luncheon took a little longer than normal due to Covid vaccination checks, the atmosphere was one of excitement as the 500 guests arrived at the venue, eager to re-unite with dearly missed friends and colleagues from the interiors and design industry. Once inside, guests were greeted with a welcoming drinks reception with live music from Bemsha Swing, setting a relaxed tone as paparazzi snapped guest photos against the sponsor’s backdrop.

A colourful BCFA 50th Anniversary balloon backdrop proved another opportunity for a selfie spot. Pictures were taken and glasses were clinked before the walls to the reception room were raised to applause and the members and their guests made their way into the Nine Kings Suite for the main event.

Welcomed by the shimmer of chandeliers and the familiar buzz of networking, the scene was enchanting as the thrilled gathering found their seats.

Our Toastmaster welcomed Carolyn Mitchell, our new BCFA Chair, to the stage who gave an empowering speech celebrating the past 50 years and looking forward to the next. Carolyn said that one of the key aims for her second time as Chair was to encourage diversity and talent within the organisation. Early in her career, Carolyn had become the youngest ever Chair of the British Contract Furnishing Association, and to this day is the only woman who has ever held the position.

Carolyn Mitchell, Chair of the BCFA

Following the lunch - the Panaz/BCFA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented by Tony Attard  CEO of Panaz. This year, the award was presented to Simon Waller, retired Production Manager at Silent Gliss. Alongside his full-time job, Simon became a volunteer NHS Blood Runner. He would regularly be out ‘running’ until early hours and still make it to work for 8am; he didn’t want recognition or thanks, and many colleagues and friends didn’t even know he did it. Soon after his retirement, Simon was diagnosed with an aggressive cancerous tumour in his leg and subsequently he had his left leg amputated, but he never let this ruin his spirit nor perspective. Simon was unfortunately unable to accept his award in person, due to continuing treatment. Instead, he gave a heart-warming speech over video, moving many of us to tears whilst still cracking jokes and making everyone chuckle, giving just a small taste of his strength and positivity.

Tony Attard OBE DL, CEO of Panaz presenting the the Panaz Lifetime Achievement Award

The afternoon was concluded with comedian, Andrew Ryan, regularly seen on the BBC, Comedy Central and Dave. Andrew quickly won over the audience with his quickfire Irish humour and easy rapport with the audience. 

Andrew Ryan, Comedian

After the formal proceedings ended members and guests continued into the evening catching up with old friends, clients and colleagues.

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and for making this year’s event one of the best yet!

A very special thank you to our sponsors this year for their continued support:  Agua Fabrics, Franklite, Hansgrohe and Hypnos Contract Beds.

We hope to see you again next year!

To view the photos from the event, click here. The download pin is 6262, downloads are all free of charge. Please see below for a small gallery of images.