On Mondays at my son Charlies school they have a Show and Tell session, as dis-organised as we are, as a last minute thing Charlie took one of the hovercraft magazines as his Show and Tell (yours truly was on one of the cover pictures....), on collecting Charlie from school that evening the Deputy Headmaster was intrigued with this hovercraft magazine, and spoke with Kimberley. Keith and Kristina attended school a week later for a Grandparents afternoon and Mr Murphy, the Deputy Head was again talking Hovercraft.... some email chat later and we receive a Method Statement and Risk Assessment from school asking if we could do a life display and Q and A session. Having never undertaken anything like this we were willing to give it a 'punt'.... The plan was to take the F1x as the field is quite small, but after the carnage of Towcester, we literally had Tristan's Predator in one piece and running. So off myself Tristan and Craig Gilliver (the nameless face behind the Hacketts Lake, race events web page....) descended blindly into the unknown.... we decided upon two 5 minute displays on the school field, followed by a couple of Q & A's. Willowfarm School is Reception to Year 6, so we thought the interest might be 5 minutes per class then back to the office to do some 'proper work'..... HOW WRONG WERE WE...... On arriving at school at 8.30am, we finally departed at 3.00pm!! To say the children were receptive to the whole thing is a total understatement..... initially Tristan flying round a field at less than half throttle had both children and teachers engaged! We did five question and answer sessions, in the school hall, and the level of questions was fantastic, all three of us couldn't believe the level of questions asked, the best coming from the 4 & 5 year old children, which totally shocked!! The children then came class by class to have a look at the Predator, again the level of interest was amazing along with the continual chain of questions being thrown at us!!On departing we found that most of the classes were doing hovercraft related subjects, with Reception Class apparently racing imaginary hovercraft around the classroom.

We have already arranged with Nick to do a two page spread in a forth coming magazine, trying to fit the day into two pages might be hard work.... so along with finalising Hacketts Lake arrangements, getting everything we've broken at Towcester repaired, and the side issue of running a business we have a write up to undertake!!!

On a personal note, I took great pleasure in seeing so many children enthralled by our visit and being able to see the Predator up close, and I was blown away with how much interest we received, all in all a fantastic day!!!

Cheers

Darren Clarke

Team Nationwide Fire Hovercraft Racing - F503 - No. 95