Two New Trustees Appointed

Two new trustees have been appointed. Alan Bonnett and Kieth Honeyman.

Alan is the General Manager (Engineering) at Fix-a-Form International Ltd, a Bury based company which designs, develops, and manufactures specialist print finishing equipment. Alan has many years of experience in the engineering sector and is passionate about helping and encouraging young people into engineering. He was nominated as a trustee by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Bury St Edmunds. Kieth recently retired as Deputy Managing Director of Quality Castings in Bury St Edmunds, an aluminium foundry where he has worked since 1972. He is a co-opted trustee.

John Baker

The Trust regrets to have to announce the death of John Baker, one of its long standing Trustees. John gave invaluable support to the Trust, based on his knowledge of and contacts with the world of engineering and construction. He was the owner and Managing Director of Thurston Building Services and he took a particular interest in the activities at Thurston Community College, where he was Vinten’s link trustee.
We send our condolences to his wife, Liz, and to his friends and family.

The 2011 Bury St Edmunds Engineering Experience

50 Year 9 and 10 students from the town’s five upper secondary schools attended the second annual residential course for “young engineers”, held at Culford School from April 11-13. The course was again led by the national Smallpeice Trust in support of the Vinten Trust. Day 1 involved ice breaking and team building exercises along with industrial visits to Bury St Edmunds two “Vinten” companies, Thales and Camera Dynamics. Day 2 saw the students in teams of five working on one of two projects. Five teams worked with Thales STEM ambassadors to design and make speaker stations for MP3 players, while the other five teams were assisted by apprentices from Jaguar Land Rover in designing and building model all terrain vehicles.

On the evening a formal dinner was held for the students and guests where Arleen McConnell, the 2010 Young Engineer of the Year was the principal speaker. Day 3 involved the student teams presenting their work to an invited audience of parents, friends and representatives of the local engineering companies. After a buffet lunch the course concluded with an engineering careers convention for the students and their parents. The course was judged an outstanding success by participants, helpers, parents, trustees and all others lucky to have experienced some or all of a hectic three days of activity.

The photographs and BBC Radio Suffolk interview here give more impressions of the 2011 event.

   Click on the BBC Image to hear a Radio Suffolk interview with attendees at the event.


The Trust Presents Thurston Community Collge With New Equipment

The trust was delighted, in January 2011, to present Thurston Community College with a Rapman 3D modeller , which will help to enhance the work of the College’s Design Department This 3D printer builds the parts up in layers of plastic with the help of a custom-made Thermoplast Extruder. The machine takes a 3mm diameter filament of a polymer, forces it down a heated barrel, and then extrudes it as a melt out of a fine nozzle. The resulting thin stream is laid down in layers to form the piece desired.
The Trust’s gift was to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Vinten brand and it is hoped to present similar gifts to all of the Bury St Edmunds Upper Schools during the year. For more information on the Rapman modellers visit

First BSE Imagineering Club

We are delighted to report on the success of the town’s first Imagineering Club which is up and running at St James Middle School, funded by the trust.

A group of enthusiastic Year 7 and 8 pupils are, this term making an electric car in the first of three projects in the year-long after school club. Led by Tracey Hunt, Head of Design at St James, and supported by sixth form Vinten Ambassadors from Bury St Edmunds County Upper School and by a STEM  Ambassador (encouraging Science , Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)  from Thales, one of the town’s two “Vinten” companies, the students are learning useful new skills as well as gaining a deeper understanding of the world of engineering. The Vinten Trust is keen to support other Imagineering Clubs and Middle School staff can gain more information by contacting the clerk.


The Bury St Edmunds Engineering Experience 2010

Nationally and locally the number of students studying Science, Mathematics and Engineering and then following a career in these subjects is decreasing. The direct impact of this trend is that UK Industry is unable to find the employees that it needs to continue to produce world class products, systems, services and facilities; all of which are at the foundation of modern economy and society.
In order to promote and excite engineering as a future career, the William & Ellen Vinten Trust has worked with local upper schools and the Smallpeice Trust, to create the first “Bury St Edmunds Engineering Experience Residential Course”. This was held at Culford School during Easter 2010 and was a great success. The course was delivered and managed by the Smallpeice Trust and follow their established and successful national Engineering Experience courses.
By providing a local course, the William and Ellen Vinten Trust was able to give 50 students a unique opportunity to understand what a professional career in Engineering could involve, so that they can make informed decisions about whether it could be the right career for them.



New Equipment Presentation

The Trust recently helped to fund the purchase of a Denford Router for the Design Technology Department at Culford School. The equipment will support the CAD/CAM work at the school. Ian Devlin, Head of Technology at Culford said, “This is a super acquisition for the Department and one we could not have gained without the assistance of the Vinten Trust”

On the left; Adrian Williams, Chairman of the Trust, hands over the new Denford Router to Ian Devlin, Head of Technology at Culford School.


Imagineering Clubs

The Trust is launching a new initiative this year to encourage the town’s middle schools to set up Imagineering Clubs for their 11 year old pupils. The Imagineering Foundation has produced some superb kits and programmes for “young engineers” to work at and we are supporting this enterprise by funding any middle school in our area keen to take on setting up a club. For more information click on

One hundred years of Vinten

As our history section shows, the Vinten company began operation in 1910 and this year sees a series of events to celebrate this remarkable centenary. Although there are, nowadays, no companies with the Vinten name, all those, who can trace their history to a Vinten company are proud of their heritage and are delighted to be participating in the 100 year birthday. In Bury St Edmunds this covers Thales Optronics and Camera Dynamics. For more information please click onto the respective company’s websites.