Despite the fact that Guy Fawkes Night has all the trappings of a great holiday – fireworks, creepy masks and its beginnings rooted in religious zealotry- as an American I find it a bit difficult to get behind a celebration that so overshadows Halloween. Though thanks in part to the same American cultural imperialism that has made sugary drinks a staple in British refrigerators, Halloween has taken root in the UK. But despite the ‘ghost meringues’ and ‘terrifying treacle tarts’ I’ve seen on sale over the past few weeks, I can’t shake the thought that most people regard the whole thing as a bit naff.
Despite this deep-seated apathy towards Halloween, as the PTRC Events and Course Manager, I see it as sort of an unwritten part of my job to stir excitement in all events and holidays, and so last week I went about trying to incite even the slightest bit of enthusiasm for Halloween amongst my colleagues. Though my efforts only amounted to purchasing Halloween themed cupcakes as an afternoon treat for the office, it did little to spark even nominal excitement in the holiday. Now, I’m not one to give up, but I can tell when I’m fighting a losing battle so I turned my attention away from Halloween and towards my actual job, working on the preparations for the annual Transport Practitioners’ Meeting.
As you may have seen in our last newsletter or on Twitter, after two successful years in London, we are moving TPM to Nottingham for its 14th year. Given its recent flurry of impressive transport projects, Nottingham provides both a central location and an excellent backdrop for a conference that is all about sharing knowledge and best practice with fellow transport practitioners. With the TPM date in the diary (29-30 June 2016 – mark your calendars), we’re now calling for papers on a wide-range of subjects. Presenting a paper at TPM provides the opportunity for speakers to raise profile in connection with a certain topic and is a welcoming environment for younger practitioners to gain valuable experience presenting to a knowledgeable audience of fellow professionals.
Further information about the Call for Papers can be found on our website. Note that the deadline for submissions is Monday, 1 February 2016. If you have any questions about submitting a paper or TPM in general, please do not hesitate to contact me or another member of the PTRC Events Team - I’ll be sitting at my desk gorging on a bag of discounted Halloween candy till mid-week, when I finally put my own holiday apathy aside and throw all my pent-up Halloween enthusiasm towards celebrating Guy Fawkes Night.
PTRC Events and Course Manager
More information about the Call for Papers can be found on our website. Excited for TPM? Why not Tweet us at @PTRC_UK with the hashtag #2016TPM.