Reaseheath College welcomes royal visitor at Cheshire Show

Reaseheath College gave Sophie, Countess of Wessex, a right royal welcome when she visited the college’s award winning stand at the Cheshire Show earlier this week (June 23 and 24)

Her Royal Highness, who is Cheshire Show President, spent 20 minutes chatting to staff and students and inspecting the stand’s activities. She particularly admired Reaseheath’s mechanical horse and a pizza oven built by construction students and was keen to find out more about apprenticeships.

Stand organiser Stephanie Owen said: “The Countess seemed to be very knowledgeable and supportive of landbased industries and asked a lot of pertinent questions about our work with rural businesses. She seemed very natural and was obviously enjoying carrying out her duties at the show.”

The Nantwich college’s visitor friendly stand had earlier taken the top award in the education section, with judge Marie Birkenhead paying tribute to the range of activities on offer and the enthusiastic and well informed staff.

Mrs Birkenhead said: “Reaseheath College’s stand was far and away the best exhibit in its section and really met the criteria, which is to educate and inform visitors about the countryside. We were impressed with the attractive display offering activities for all ages, but what was most outstanding was the wonderful welcome which all visitors received when they went on the stand.”

Top crowd puller on the stand was a Caterpillar digger which gave visitors the chance to operate the controls. Apart from riding the mechanical horse, families were able to have a go on a climbing wall and try milking a model cow. Other activities, under the banner ‘Do Something Different’, included a display of the latest horticultural technology and a chance to make floral buttonholes and beaded dragonflies. Animals from the college’s zoo and a scarecrow from this summer’s ‘Superhero’ maize maze were also on display.

Reaseheath agriculture students took part in breed showing and young handler classes in the cattle show ring with heifers and a cow in milk from the Reaseheath Holstein dairy herd. The student team were awarded first place in the ‘tidy lines’ competition.

Deputy Marketing Manager Faye Thomson-Butt said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for us to demonstrate the range of vocational courses we offer. We are very proud of the success of our students and coming to the Cheshire Show each year gives us a great platform to show the public what we can do.”

Caption: Sophie, Countess of Wessex, joins Stephanie Owen and agricultural lecturer Mark Walton on Reaseheath College’s stand at the Cheshire Show.

Speedy learning curve for future engineers

Future engineers from local primary and secondary schools learned about the science and technology behind a 1,000 mph record attempt during a visit to Reaseheath College in Nantwich.

Twelve schools from Nantwich, Crewe, Sandbach, Haslington, Stoke and Cannock were invited to take part in activities involving the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC), the vehicle which will attempt the 1,000mph land speed record in South Africa in 2016.

Georgina Hardy and Adam Caunt, both 13, from Brine Leas School with their Kinex car

Georgina Hardy and Adam Caunt, both 13, from Brine Leas School with their Kinex car

A replica of Bloodhound SSC, along with its education team, was a key attraction at Reaseheath’s Family Festival in May and remained on campus for a week to allow local pupils to learn more about the exciting project.

The event was run in support of STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths), a national education initiative to inspire young people to consider engineering as a career. The UK needs to attract 100,000 new engineers into the industry each year and currently recruits just 30,000 annually.

Up to 120 pupils at Key Stages 2 and 3 visited Reaseheath each day to learn about Bloodhound SSC’s development, which is being supported by some of the world’s leading engineering companies including Rolls Royce.

Braden Jones, Ben Jackson and Bloodhound ambassador Claire Stewart watch Joshua Malkin on simulator

The young people had a chance to look at the car and those who asked the best questions were rewarded with a drive on a simulator. Other activities included constructing and testing an air driven Kinex car, 3D printing and planning a specially prepared desert base for the car and its support teams.

Brine Leas School, Nantwich, Year 8 pupil Georgina Hardy, 13, who had just tested the aerodynamics of her Kinex car, said: “I don’t know what I’m going to do for a career but this has definitely given me an insight into engineering. The whole day has been very interesting and a lot of fun.”

Reaseheath FE Marketing Officer Stephanie Owen explained: “We invited our local schools into college so they could make the most of the wonderful opportunity offered by Bloodhound and its team. Reaseheath totally supports STEM projects and we hope that some of our young visitors will be inspired to become the engineers of the future.”

For more about careers in engineering and science see and


Speed car pioneer inspires Reaseheath College’s engineers

The second fastest men on earth has urged Reaseheath College’s motor vehicle and engineering students to reach for the stars by focusing on careers as professional engineers and scientists.

Richard Noble OBE, former holder of the world land speed record and director of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC) Project, described the tremendous opportunities which exist in research, design and build as he launched the Nantwich, Cheshire, college’s upgraded motor vehicle technology department.

The state-of-the-art automotive workshops have undergone over one million pounds of investment and are fitted out with the latest diagnostic equipment. During his tour, Richard chatted to students working on a range of modern vehicles including the college’s own hybrid car. He also admired an eco challenge car, built as a competition project by visiting school pupils, which achieves 350 miles per gallon.

Congratulating Reaseheath on its drive to encourage young people to develop technical knowledge, he said: “The facilities and training here are exactly what the future is all about. Britain’s car fleet is getting increasingly more complex and Reaseheath College is consistently raising the bar for next generation engineers.

“It’s been fascinating to meet so many students who are confidently looking towards their future careers and are keen to learn. There’s a nice buzz about the place and the workshops are superb. What’s notable is that these young people already have many of the technical skills they require to get on in the industry.”

After his tour, Richard gave an inspirational talk to the college’s 250 motor vehicle and agricultural engineering students about the advanced technology which will support his attempt on a new land speed record with BloodhoundSSC.

The complex racing car, built by a multi-national team and sponsored by blue chip companies including Rolls Royce, will attempt to reach 800mph in Northern Cape, South Africa in 2015 and a landmark 1,000 mph in 2016. It will be driven by former RAF fighter pilot Wing Comander Andy Green.

Video and data from the exciting project will be streamed live on internet and accessible for colleges and schools.

Richard, a qualified pilot and entrepreneur, held the world land speed record of 633mph from 1983 to 1997 driving Thrust2. He was also project director of ThrustSSC, the vehicle which set the current land speed record of 763mph in 1997.

IMIAL Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair students Debra Bligh-Wall, Corey Walton, Will Blackshaw and Cody Brookes meet Richard Noble in Reaseheath’s automotive workshops

IMIAL Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair students Debra Bligh-Wall, Corey Walton, Will Blackshaw and Cody Brookes meet Richard Noble in Reaseheath’s automotive workshops

Cody Brookes, 17, an IMIAL Level 3 Light Vehicle Maintenance and Repair student said: “Listening to Richard was amazing and so inspiring. When we hear that Bloodhound has exceeded 1,000 mph we’ll remember this day as the time we met him at Reaseheath.”

Richard’s audience also included representatives from the Blue Bell Group, Car Transplants, Smiths Autoparts, Auto-mobile, Swansway Garages and the Institute of Advanced Motorists, all of whom support the motor vehicle department.

  • A replica of BloodhoundSSC, along with its education team, will be one of the leading attractions at the Reaseheath Family Festival on Sunday May 18.


The car will remain at the college for the following week, when it will be visited by 120 pupils from local schools each day. On Saturday 24th May the car will feature in the launch of the Cheshire Science Festival, which runs until June 1st and aims to encourage more pupils into science, technology, engineering and maths.


Zoo trip prize for Bury budding scientists

Budding scientists from Bury Church of England High School saw some of their lessons come to life during a behind-the-scenes visit to Reaseheath’s zoo.

Twelve pupils from Years 9 and 10 helped to feed ring tailed lemurs and meerkats and flew birds of prey during an action packed trip round our animal management department.

Pupil Lucy Tyrer, 15, won the chance to spend time with Reaseheath’s zoo keepers after becoming one of the top prizewinners at The Big Bang Fair in Liverpool, a north west event aimed at encouraging young scientists and engineers.

Her project, ‘The Perfect Cup of Tea’, was awarded top marks for enthusiasm and commitment to STEM (education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). The category prize was sponsored by Reaseheath College.

Lucy chose to bring 11 fellow science enthusiasts on her day out. All the pupils have completed CREST (Creative Science and Technology) awards. Lucy, who wants to become a vet said: “This was a really good experience. All the colleges near us are in towns so being out in the country and meeting all the animals was amazing.”

Chemistry teacher Amy Jackson, who accompanied the group, said: “Our pupils, particularly girls, are become more and more interested in science. This was a great opportunity to come to Reaseheath and spend time outside doing practical activities. The facilities here are stunning. The whole group had a really good learning experience and loved every minute.”