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Message from the Chair of the Local Organising Committee Dear friends, It was back in 2002 that I was first made aware of ‘a Physics Competition’ that was being publicised in the UK by Sue Fryer from the Institute of Physics. Tantalisingly, we were told that if we were lucky enough to win the UK round, we would have the opportunity to travel to Sweden and represent the country. It was an amazing prospect; physics teachers just don’t normally get to do that sort of thing! I was a team leader, as was my long-suffering colleague, Mr Steve Adams, who is Head of Science at Shrewsbury School and another veteran of IYPT now. Initially the problems looked quite strange and rather unapproachable but by doing some research and tackling them carefully one by one, we managed to perform successful experiments and put together some credible presentations. We were eventually victorious in our national competition and in July 2003 we flew to Stockholm en route to Uppsala. We really did not know what to expect at the international competition and were very excited about our awaiting adventure. We faced a steep learning curve but soon got the hang of it and amazingly finished 5th in the tournament. We also met some amazing people who are still friends to this day. Sadly, two of them, Gunnar Tibell and Zdeněk Kluiber are no longer with us. I will never forget their friendship and total commitment to IYPT and physics education around the world. We loved seeing different countries and cultures, the physics and the camaraderie; we had caught the IYPT bug. Soon after IYPT 2003, Sue Fryer passed the mantle of IOC member for the UK over to me and since then, I have been involved in ten successive IYPTs.  I have been a team leader, IOC member, EC member and Independent Juror. I have enjoyed every aspect of the tournament and hope to do so for many years to come. It was only a matter of time before we would have the pleasure of reciprocating the welcome and the kindness that we have received from so many of you in your respective host countries. Well here we are in 2014 and it is indeed with great pleasure that I welcome you all to the 27th International Young Physicists’ Tournament in the United Kingdom and at Shrewsbury School in particular. John Balcombe