First I made a clay mock-up of the model I intended to make, then transferred the design to the real thing, using balsa wood and did most of this preliminary work in school. Then during the Easter holidays I finished the construction of the car and painted it. I sent in the car, carefully packed for despatch, after having burned much midnight oil. Now the masters who often remarked on my tiredness have the truth set down before them.
Some months later, and much to my surprise, I received a letter congratulating me on being one of the twenty-four finalists in the Junior Section of the competition, and inviting me and one of my parents to be their guests at the Presidential Hotel, London from the 11th to the 13th June. Thus it was that my father and I could be seen on an "all expenses paid" VIP weekend at the American-owned, American-patronised President Hotel.
On the Saturday evening there was a dinner get together (but not much 'get-togethering'); Sunday evening was the highlight of the event when the forty-eight winners - twenty-four from the Senior section and twenty-four from the Junior section, met for the presentation of the awards. As a finalist in the Junior section as I awarded a marvellous and very useful tool chest (just the thing for making another model and entering it for next year's competition!). The first prize in the Junior division was £50 and a trip to West Germany; in the Senior it was £500 and a trip to America.
On Monday we were taken on a tour of the Vauxhall factory at Luton and also had a tour around the Styling Division of the Company - both of which were very interesting experiences. On the last day of our long week-end we were taken on a tour of the Houses of Parliament and had a trip up the new Post Office Tower and all of this by courtesy of the Vauxhall Craftsmen's Guild.
Charles Greenstead, 4Q