NMBS celebrated a record-breaking 2014 in style at the annual Dinner Dance on 25 October.

The leading buying society for independent builders', plumbing and heating, hardware and timber merchants recently staged its 51st Annual Dinner Dance with over 1,000 guests representing NMBS members and suppliers attending - all looking to enjoy an evening of good food, great company and first-rate networking opportunities.

Maintaining a winning formula, this year's Dinner Dance once again took place on 25 October, in the sumptuous surroundings of the five-star Grosvenor House Hotel in the heart of London's Mayfair.

NMBS chairman Tim Allen officially opened the evening with a speech outlining the buying society's performance in 2014.

Following its amalgamation with United Merchants (UNIMER), NMBS has accelerated its success with turnover up an impressive 89% on 2013 and is set to surpass £1.2bn by the end of the financial year.

NMBS' membership now also represents more than 40% of the merchanting sector, totalling in excess of 1,000 members with over 3,000 branches UK-wide.

Mr Allen was keen to point out that the evening should be seen as a celebration of this combined strength and also as a show of gratitude to the many NMBS members and suppliers who have continued to support the buying society's success and growth. His speech was followed by a rousing performance from Essex-based marching band, the Romford Drums & Trumpet Corps, before the evening's charity draw. This raised over £9,000 which was split equally between NMBS' two chosen charities – The Rainy Day Trust and CRASH.

The lucky winners included:

  • Prize balloon winner: Hayley Locke (Hanson Cement)
  • Charity draw: Hayley Locke (as above)
  • Scratch card winners: Michael Watson (Rudridge), Mr A White (P W Anderson & Woodman Bros Ltd.) and Mrs J Leedham (MPS Builders Merchants Ltd).

The Rainy Day Trust also made a special recognition award to NMBS in appreciation of the buying society's ongoing support and commitment over the last 15 years. This was presented on the charity's behalf by Andy Williamson, managing director of IKO plc, to Mr Allen and NMBS managing director, Chris Hayward.

Following dinner, guests were able to catch up with old friends and contacts, as well as establish new ones. They were also treated to a line-up of dance floor filling entertainment which included house band, Fully Funktional; tribute act, The Conmittments; and chart-topping 70s soul group, The Real Thing.

Speaking of the 2014 NMBS Dinner Mr Hayward said: "The Annual Dinner Dance is just one of a number of events staged by NMBS as part of our commitment to 'Strengthening Independents' and aimed at facilitating networking opportunities between our members and suppliers in a more relaxed and sociable setting. Over the last 50 years, it has become a must-attend evening in the diary of most independent merchants and many building industry suppliers - and every year, we face the unenviable challenge of raising the bar - headed up by Sam Hunt, our Events Manager, and working closely with our marketing team at NMBS. I’m delighted to say that, once again, they didn't disappoint. It's perhaps befitting that our best ever commercial year in 2014 was marked by our best ever Dinner Dance."