Echoes of the past – bringing the IOE's rich history to life

Fri 30 Jan 2015
Posted by: IOE News
IOE News

This year marks the Institute of Export’s 80th anniversary.  As part of our year long celebrations, we will be taking a look back at some of the events that have shaped our organisation, reflecting on the thoughts and words of our members as recorded in ‘Export ‘ – our official ‘members only’ journal.

Here we re-visit 1955:

1955 Britain was a land of contradictions – where austerity and growth made for unlikely bedfellows. Rationing had only ended the previous year and the deprivations of the war were still being felt by many, a state of emergency had also been declared due to the national rail strike and the country faced a long, severe winter.  But set against this hardship was a genuine sense of optimism, a rise in the average wage and a level of almost full employment.

It was also the year that Tim Berners-Lee – the future inventor of the World Wide Web – was born, and both Dr Albert Einstein and Sir Alexander Fleming – who discovered penicillin, died.  The Guinness Book of Records was first published, Birds Eye Fishfingers – one of the UK’s first convenience foods – went on sale, the BBC lost its 18 year long monopoly when ITV was launched and Britain saw its first female news reader.

It was unquestionably a time of change, and nowhere was that felt more than within the exporting and importing community.  Topics discussed within the pages of ‘Export’ included decimalisation, nuclear power, tax relief on export turnover and the need for greater professionalism within exporting – many of which are as pertinent now as they were 60 years ago.

To borrow the words of Charles Dickens “.. it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity.”

How do you think the exporters of the future will view their 2015 counterparts?

We will be shortly announcing the details of our 80th anniversary celebrations.  Please keep the evening of 18th November 2015 free to come and celebrate this momentous milestone with us.