Firstco executive in armoured trip to France

From: Firstco Ltd
Published: Wed May 16 2007

Seven men – led by Simon P Blagden MBE and including Mark Calnan, chairman of Firstco, one of the UK’s leading technical consultancy, project management and systems integration specialists – will be spending the Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May traveling around France in a Spartan Armoured Personnel vehicle.

The team is marking the 90th Anniversary of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) and the 25th Anniversary of the Falklands War, by making a sponsored ‘Tank Run’ from London to France, passing through the war graves in the Somme region.

Each of the crew has undertaken to underwrite and to raise a minimum of £2,000 for the CWGC – and is hoping to raise further cash from corporate and individual sponsors.

"All monies raised will go to support the work of the CWGC. All of the costs of the tank run are being paid for by the crew," said Mark Calnan, whose company works in the transport, power and construction industries and whose clients include BAA Heathrow Airport; Esso Petroleum; Heathrow Express Operating Company; London Underground; Standard Life Assurance; Morgan Stanley; Arup Associates; Balfour Kilpatrick; Siemens; EdF; Mott MacDonald; Scott Wilson Crown House (Carillion), and Transmanche Link.

The ‘Tank Run’ will begin – to the accompaniment of a military band from the Coldstream Guards - from the Naval and Military Club in St James’s Square, London, on 25th May, and will be watched by, among others, the President of the CWGC: His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent.

All donations should be made by cheque made payable to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and sent via Mark Calnan at Firstco, 4 Celbridge Mews, London, W2 6EU.


Notes for Editors:

A photograph of the Spartan Armoured Personnel vehicle is available on request from Bob Little Press & PR (tel 01727 860405 or email

Tour itinerary:

Friday 25th May 2007
12.30 (UK) Depart Naval & Military Club, St. James Square, London
16.00 (UK) Arrive Dover for overnight
Ramada Hotel, Dover
Saturday 26 May 2007
08.40 (UK) Boarding ferry (P&O) at Dover
11.10 (FR) Arrive Port de Calais
11.30 Depart Port de Calais
11.45 Arrive Memorial Municipale de la Guerre, Calais
12.00 Depart Calais – Route Nationale
14.45 Arrive Vimy – Canadian Memorial
16.00 Depart Vimy
16.30 Arrive Arras
Hotel de l’Universe, 3 Place de la Croix Rouge, 62000, Arras
Sunday 27th May 2007
08.15 Depart Arras
09.00 Arrive Rancourt
Chapel of the Souvenir Francais
09.45 Depart Rancourt
10.00 Arrive Delville Wood, Longueval
South African Memorial
10.45 Depart Longueval
11.30 Arrive Thiepval Monument
12.30 Depart Thiepval
12.45 Lunch – Tommy’s Bar, Pozieres
13.30 Depart Pozieres
13.40 Arrive Lochnagar Crater, La Boisselle
14.00 Depart La Boisselle
14.30 Arrive Villers Bretonneux
Australian Memorial
15.15 Depart Villers Bretonneux
16.00 Arrive French Cemetery, Montdidier
16.30 Depart Montdidier
17.00 Arrive Chateau de Warsy
Welcome drink with friends and supporters

The Crew:

Simon P Blagden MBE, John Archer, Mark Calnan, David Hall, Brad Lovegrove, Sandy Malcolm, Roger Marsh.

About Firstco

Established in 1998, Firstco is now a major force in the areas of technical consultancy, project management and systems integration. Working in a range of industries – notably transport, especially rail installations and airports; power and construction – Firstco specialises in controls and communication solutions for assignments of all sizes from buildings through to large scale infrastructure projects, including sub-surface railways and airports.

Firstco’s in-house team includes specialists in: systems engineering, software engineering, control room integration, consulting, project management and commissioning management.
Through its core services of consultancy, system delivery and project management, Firstco provides its clients with a total solution - from concept to commissioning and maintenance, based on collaboration and integration with clients and partners.

Its mission is to advise, deliver and support high quality control and communications solutions that improve transport and workplace environments, create value for clients and make a positive difference to their end users.

Firstco’s approach is based on four core values:

• Service Excellence - achieving client confidence by truly understanding the business drivers and the project requirements, delivering the agreed solution to plan, managing issues and communicating clearly and regularly - while being easy to do business with and enjoyable to work with.
• Integrity - applying professional and technical expertise to ensure the right solution for the right reasons, as well as being open, honest and fair in all of its dealings.
• Teamwork - deploying the right blend of talent and experience to get the job done, and integrating effectively with client and third party personnel and activities.
• Development - continually seeking to enhance its own capabilities and processes, enabling it to remain innovative and challenging - and sharing this with its clients.

Firstco’s clients include: BAA Heathrow Airport; Esso Petroleum; Heathrow Express Operating Company; London Underground; Standard Life Assurance; Morgan Stanley; Arup Associates; Balfour Kilpatrick; Siemens; EdF; Mott MacDonald; Scott Wilson Crown House (Carillion), and Transmanche Link.

Further information from:
David Bligh / Rupert Exham, Firstco, 0207 034 0833;
Bob Little, Bob Little Press & PR, 01727 860405
Company: Firstco Ltd
Contact Name: Bob Little
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 00 44 (0) 1 727 860405

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