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Challenging journey for student car mascot

Imperial College Press Release
For immediate release

20 June 2002

A vintage car maintained by engineering students from Imperial College will prove there is still life left in old timers this weekend as it sets off on its most ambitious journey to commemorate its centennial birthday.

In a test of endurance the 100 year-old vehicle, named Boanerges (Bo'), will make its first trip abroad travelling a 410 km route to Paris to help raise money toward the 15,000 UKP needed to refit Bo'.

Bo' with driver Tom Williams and fellow students who help maintain the mascot

Driver, Tom Williams explains: "Bo has never been abroad. His longest journey in memory is only a quarter of the proposed distance. The biggest challenge will be Bo's reliability. Not only is he old, he was mainly designed as a town car."

The only 1902 James and Browne motorcar in existence with a top speed of 28 miles an hour, Bo will take six days to reach the French capital.

Setting off from Imperial's South Kensington campus on Sunday 23 June, Bo' will make an overnight pit stop at Imperial College Wye in Kent.

There will be an opportunity at 9.30am on Monday 24 June at the Wye campus for members of the press and public to meet Bo' and the team of students from Imperial's City and Guilds College Motor Club who run and maintain the car.

Bo', the student mascot of City and Guilds College

Bo's trip immediately follows birthday celebrations on 22 June at the Heritage Motor Centre, Warwickshire which includes an exhibition of all Bo's history, tours of the museum, a display of vintage and veteran cars owned by previous club members and off road driving. A special dinner for up to 350 people will take place in the evening.

Tom Williams and fellow students will produce a daily web journal of the journey including videos, photographs and interviews. For more details visit:

Two major sponsors of Bo's trip to Paris are Land Rover, car manufacturer and P&O Stena Line, ferry company.

For further information:

Judith H Moore
Imperial College Press Office
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 6702

Wendy Raeside
Press and PR Officer
Imperial College Wye
Tel: +44 (0)20 7594 2624

Tom Williams
Bo' Driver
Tel: 07740 597439

Notes to editors:

1. Itinerary
Saturday 22nd: Centenary dinner at the Heritage Motor Centre in Gaydon, Warwickshire.

Sunday 23rd
Bo' transported to Imperial's South Kensington campus.
Start London to Paris Run departing Imperial.
Public appearances in The City of London.
Arrive at Imperial College Wye, Kent between 5 and 7pm.

Monday 24th
Depart at 11.30am for Dover for 2.30pm channel crossing.
Arrive in Calais
Arrive in Boulogne.

Tuesday 25th
Depart Boulogne for Abbeville passing through Montreuil.

Depart Abbeville for Beauvais passing through Amiens.

Thursday 27th
Contingency day (to allow for Bo's reliability).

Friday 28th
Leave Beauvais.
Arrive in Paris.
in Paris.
Remain in Paris for functions until Sunday afternoon, when Bo' will be loaded onto his trailer for the return journey.

2. Facts about Bo'

* Boanerges was builtin Hammersmith, London and was purchased by students of the college in 1934. Bo' is maintained and run by students of the City and Guilds College Motor Club and the responsibility for his upkeep is passed down from student to student each year.

* The name Boanerges is biblical (Mark 3:17) and means "Sons of Thunder".

* The City and Guilds College Motor Club was formed at the same time as the College to aid students in pursuing their interest in automotive engineering. Students are able to gain practical experience of engineering by maintaining and driving racing karts (former University Karting Champions),a 1926 motorbike, a series of modern cars and Boanerges, the 1902 James and Browne car. This formula has produced many high flyers, such as Keith Duckworth, who founded Cosworth Engineering, the world famous race engine design house.

* Bo' is driven frequently and can often be seen around Hyde Park as well as taking part in many short events such as the London to Brighton run which he completes in between six and eight hours.

* The celebrations for the anniversary began earlier this year when Bo' carried Imperial College's Rector, Sir Richard Sykes, to Brighton with a letter from the Lord Mayor of London.

3. Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (10,000) and staff (5,000) of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions which enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture. Imperial has one of the largest annual turnovers (UKP390 million for 2000-01) and research incomes (UKP202 million for 2000-01). In the December 2001 Research Assessment Exercise, 75 per cent of staff achieved a 5* rating, the highest proportion in any UK university. Website: