By Royal Command
Students have driven off with a prestigious prize after creating a replica Royal carriage fit for The Queen.
Matthew Hughes, Gareth Phillips, Owen Fitzgibbon and Thomas Lavender created the impressive carriage during a fiercely contested national final of a welding competition.
Weld Off 2016 proved to be a third consecutive win for EAL registered centre, Coleg Cambria in North Wales, when the four students produced their stunning entry for the competition themed God Save the Queen in celebration of the Monarch’s 90th birthday.
The highly commended runners-up included apprentices from three more EAL centres including the City of Wolverhampton College, who created a model of London’s Tower Bridge; students from Training 2000 in Lancashire, who also welded a Royal Carriage and the team from New College Durham who produced an afternoon tea setting fit for any Royal garden party.
BBC presenter Steph McGovern was on hand to support the contestants during the live final in Tamworth hosted by Morris Machinery and their partner’s Speedy services, while the judging panel was headed up by EAL’s Michael Scarrott.
Julia Chippendale, managing director of EAL, the specialist awarding organisation and skills partner for industry, said: “The standard of the competition was phenomenal and showcased all that is best about the UK’s welding apprenticeships.
“Coleg Cambria’s hat-trick of wins is a fantastic accolade for them and I am sure The Queen would be hugely impressed at what the team has produced.
“EAL is proud to support the event and assistance in the judging and I am delighted that every finalist came from a centre which delivers EAL certified courses. Congratulations to them all.”
Mr Scarrott, head judge and a Product Specialist with EAL, said: “All the finalists did an amazing job but the winning entry was breath-taking in its detail. The carriage was complete with gilded crown, ornate royal detailing and even a piece of red carpet inside which the Queen herself has stepped on. Coleg Cambria was a very deserving winner.”
Phil Winnington, Managing Director at Morris Site Machinery, said: “This has been an outstanding year for the Weld-Off and it was a truly competitive atmosphere! Every year the bar is raised and we have been astounded by the level of creativity, quality and interpretation of the theme which celebrates Her Majesty at 90.”
Jane Nugent, Marketing Director of Speedy Services, the UK’s leading tools, equipment and plant hire services company, said: “We were delighted to host the competition at our National Distribution Centre. Everyone was very impressed with the calibre and creativity of work. The contestants’ work ethic, skill and passion really shone through and all 16 are a real credit to young people in the manufacturing and engineering sectors.”
The winning team walked off with the accolade of being some of the best welding apprentices in the UK along with prizes worth more than £3,000.