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02 July 2019

Hadlow at the South of England Show

By Catherine Barrett

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Hadlow College enjoyed another successful year exhibiting at this year’s South of England Show.  It was another action-packed year with just under 58,000 visitors to the show. Our Marketing trailer was onsite, manned by staff who were busy fielding enquiries about our courses, as well as battling the constant rain on Friday and high winds on Saturday!

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We took a group of Equine students who are studying towards the Extended Diploma in Equine Management.  Allocated to help in the main ring, the students were involved in setting up the arena for a range of classes, under the watchful eye of world-class show jumping course designers, such as Bob Ellis (who designed the London 2012 Olympic course, among other achievements).  The students commented how this experience enabled them to develop their communication and time management skills, whilst working as a team.  Being part of this event also gave them a chance to network with some of the top names in the industry, observe best professional practice and develop their employability skills. They all worked very hard despite the inclement weather!

Our year 1 and 2 Agricultural Engineering students were also on display to the public, busily working in a workshop that was created in the machinery area of the showground.  They showed off their skills carrying out a variety of repairs to equipment and tractors that had been brought along.

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On Thursday, the students were carrying out a repair and overhaul on a Fordson Major hydraulic system, while on the other side of the workshop, year 2 students were diagnosing faults and rewiring a charging system on a Ferguson TEF 20.  Both 1950s tractors fitted in very well, as the workshop was surrounded by local machinery dealerships and the South Eastern Vintage Agricultural Club (SEVAC).  The students benefitted greatly from the experience and knowledge of the SEVAC members, who often popped in to see how they were progressing and offer advice.

Avoiding the rain on Friday, the students spent an hour or so learning to splice rope with the assistance of a member of the Vintage club. Something a little different for a damp day, and an old art that is being lost. They enjoyed this and there were some interesting splice designs created.

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With the rain improving on Saturday, the year 1 students were set the task of getting an old generator running, which had been standing in a shed for a number of years.  The workshop was a hive of activity once again, as the fuel tank was cleaned out and parts of the engine cleaned and tested. Eventually, the generator spluttered into life and even provided power for a floodlight. Another happy customer!

On Thursday, Carole Hayward, Deputy President of the South of England Show, visited us in the Machinery area and on Saturday, we were also pleased to welcome Sir Richard Kleinwort, President of the South of England Show.

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Iain Nicol, CEO of the South of England Agricultural Society, gave Hadlow College Agricultural team a special mention in his thank-you letter, saying, “Hadlow College and the Agricultural Machinery area provided even more mechanical magic.”

Thanks go to SEVAC who kept the team fed watered and offered advice when needed, and to the Agriculture students who set up and dismantled the temporary workshop and brought it all home.  Also to the Equine Students for their help towards with the smooth running of the classes in the main ring.