The Geomatics Professional Group and the Boundaries and Party Walls Panel awarded the 2009 Michael Barrett award to Charlie Beedon on Thursday. We have awarded this award annually since 1994; I've attended the last 3 or 4 years' worth of lectures and can honestly say that those involved in boundaries disputes are the most entertaining surveyors out. I wonder if it's because they have to have infinite diplomacy with those parties they are trying to mediate with but their tales of who, what, where and when are engrossing.
Charlie's lecture, found here, was informative and interesting. It's no surprise that boundary disputes are as much about personalities as the physical features. Charlie deals with national/local disputes which sound a mare. Imagine the diplomacy needed by last year's award winner, Chris Carleton, who advises the UN on international maritime boundary disputes. I actually think it's of equal effort - Charlie's type of dispute is more 'hear and how' whereas Chris' drags on and on in the international courts of law. But, at the end of the day, if your neighbour is disputing your boundary that is the important boundary dispute in the world to you. National and international shenanigans are just a blot on the horizon.
Ps. There are some photos kicking around but I haven't had sight of them yet.