BMVC is an itinerant conference, never in the same part of the country in successive years. After last year's highly successful event in Edinburgh, BMVC has moved back south to the University of Essex. Colchester can also claim to be a capital city of sorts: it was the first capital of Roman Britain, and the remains of Boudicca and the Iceni continue to be found in and around the town.

Even though the submission deadline for BMVC coincided with that of ICCV, some 113 papers were submitted; and although a British conference in name, 24 of them were from outside the UK. This has resulted in 39 oral and 31 poster papers which show that the quality of vision research that has become a feature of the BMVC remains high.

A new feature of the conference this year is "industry day." Those papers that have particular industrial potential will all be presented on the same day, with the afternoon given over to posters and demonstrations. We hope that this will improve the visibility of vision as a tool that will benefit industry.

A well-established tradition is the pre-conference tutorial. It is with great personal pleasure, as my own interests encompass vision software, that this year's tutorial is on the Image Understanding Environment and is being given by David Cooper (Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Manchester) and Andrew Fitzgibbon (Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford). These are the best-informed people in the country about the IUE and are doing much to popularize it within the research community.

It is also a great pleasure to welcome our distinguished guest speakers, Shmuel Peleg (Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel) speaking on Video mosaicing using manifold projection , and Robert Duin (Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands) speaking on Neural network experiences between perceptrons and support vectors .

Last year, a CD-ROM of the conference was produced containing PostScript versions of the papers. This proved so successful that the idea has been extended this year: the CD-ROM contains HTML versions of the papers, which should be compatible with most Web browsers. Authors have been encouraged to include colour imagery and figures where sensible; the more innovative have taken the opportunity to include MPEG movies and VRML models. We hope this will prove a useful resource, as well as consuming less shelf space!

A few votes of thanks are in order. Each member of our programme committee reviewed over 20 pages in the very short timescale available, and did so with their usual skill and good humour. The local organizing committee have done their work quietly and efficiently, and provided me with helpful advice when I needed it. Finally, special mention must be made of Dr. Christine Clark, who has carried out the administrative work for the conference with her usual incredible efficiency -- and who brought me back into line when my eye wandered off the ball.

We wish all delegates a most enjoyable conference.

Adrian F. Clark
Colchester, July 1997