Talented blind engineer awarded The Ted Higgs Trophy at The Founders Day Awards

7 May 2014 09:00

Blind Veteran Terry Bullingham has been awarded the Ted Higgs Trophy for his impressive engineering skills.

The Founders Day Awards are held each year on the 26 March to celebrate Blind Veterans UK's founder Sir Arthur Pearson and his success at rebuilding his life after sight loss. They are given to outstanding veterans and volunteers for their achievements. The date is particularly significant as on the 26 March 1915, 16 blinded soldiers entered the training centre in Regents Park, London.

The Ted Higgs trophy is given to a war blinded veteran in recognition of lifetime achievement. The late Ted Higgs lost all his sight in 1944, whilst serving in the Royal Artillery and the award has kindly been donated by members of his family

This year's recipient is Terry Bullingham, the first veteran to join Blind Veterans UK as a result of being blinded in the Falklands conflict. He is pictured here with Valerie Shannon Higgs and Pauline Edwards, daughters of the late Ted Higgs. Both Valerie and Pauline said how proud they are that the memory of their late father is continued through the Ted Higgs Trophy.

When introducing the award, Barry Porter, Interim Chief Exeuctive and Director of Welfare Services for Blind Veterans UK, mentioned that Ted Higgs had been a keen model maker and that he had one of Ted's models in his officeTerry was nominated by his Welfare Officer, Rachel Jennings, who wrote:

"Terry can only be described as one of this country's finest model engineers.He has not only made a working replica of a steam engine from Meccano, but over the past few years, in order to challenge his skills and capabilities designed,  engineered and made a working crane, the full size of which was used regularly in dock yards. It is a creation of passion, determination and ingenuity. Terry is presently taking the working model to meetings where like minded model makers and engineers meet, hence the large plastic wheels on it. When you consider that Terry has no sight it truly is a terrific achievement."

Terry Bullingham said: "I initially encountered Meccano as a schoolboy and thoroughly enjoyed constructing models with it until I discovered Rock and Roll. Features I enjoy are that it is an adaptable medium, construction being relatively quick, and the end result is seamless insomuch that all the mistakes and 'try-outs' have been removed during the construction. I returned to it after totally losing my sight as I have a clear memory of the range of parts and thus have a reasonably accurate mental image of the models progress."

If you know anyone who served in National Service or the Armed Forces and has severe sight problems, please do not hesitate to contact Blind Veterans UK on 0800 389 7979 our visit our No One Alone website for more information.