The Best of British at The President’s Ball!

Click below to see the full gallery of images from the President's Ball

Chief executive Miranda Barker surprised guests by joining opera singer Sean Ruane to perform at the glittering President’s Ball.

Miranda sang a number of hits, including Phantom of the Opera’s All I Ask of You, and Empty Chairs at Empty Tables from Les Misérables.

The Annual President’s Dinner – this year themed The Great British Ball, celebrating all things that are great about Britain – is one of the highlights of our calendar – and this year surpassed all expectations.

Laughter, chatter and the clinking of glasses filled the Dunkenhalgh hotel’s banqueting suite, which was elegantly dressed in red, white and blue.

Generous guests dug deep to buy raffle tickets and bid in the live and silent auctions to raise £3,744.40 for Rosemere Cancer Foundation.

All money collected will be used to support local cancer patients through specialist services, patient comforts, cutting-edge equipment and research, which are additional to what the NHS provides but which makes a huge difference to patients and their families.

Guest speakers Mark Woodward – MD of the Printed Cup Company – and sales director of ESSE, Mark Blewitt, spoke about the benefits of being members of Made in Britain.

The Made in Britain mark is accredited to businesses that sell goods which have been manufactured or have undergone a final substantial change in Britain before being sold.

Both speakers acknowledged that it was possible to find certain goods cheaper abroad, but there were enough businesses still willing to buy British.

Mark Blewitt told guests that the advantages of buying British was that companies could order smaller quantities at short notice, which was not always possible when dealing with foreign firms.

Mark Woodward said: “It was an honour to be asked to talk about how Made in Britain logo and East Lancashire Chamber of Commerce have helped the Printed Cup Company grow over the last 10 years."

“In many countries it’s mandatory to be a Chamber member, so lots of our overseas contacts won’t consider doing business with us if we aren’t members of the British Chambers of Commerce.”

Many guests posted comments on social media about what a great night they’d all had.

Julia Buchanan, owner of N&J Aluminium Linings, wrote: “We had an absolutely fantastic evening.

“Everyone on our table had a ball. Thank you for organising a great event and we look forward to next year.”

Raimonda Zapasnike, from Seriun, put: “What a great night it was!”

And event sponsor Emma Astley from Cover My Bubble commented: “Such a great night. Well done everyone and thanks for making it fab night.”

Chamber events manager Debbi Dawson, who organised the ball, said: “A huge thanks to everyone who helped make the night so perfect, including sponsors Nelson and Colne College, Sagar Insurances and Emma Astley, from Cover My Bubble."

“A special thanks to Ken Shackleton, Tom Penman and the wonderful team at The Cardboard Box Company Ltd for all their support and ideas - these guys do so much more than cardboard boxes!!!"

“Thanks also to Chris Durham, at Ronset Printers Ltd, for printing the excellent menus and table settings for us, to Stockleys Sweets Limited for providing the favours and to everyone who generously donated prizes for our live auction and raffle."

Debbi added: “A huge thanks to master of ceremonies Paul Guard, who quite literally made the evening the success it was, and guest speakers Mark Woodward and Mark Blewitt.”

If any company would like to get involved in next year’s ball,

please contact Debbi Dawson on

01254 356439, 07989 978287 or email