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Imperial College students carry goodwill message from the City on London-Brighton run

For Immediate Use
Friday 2 November 2001


Students of the City and Guilds College Union at Imperial College become ambassadors of goodwill this Sunday (4 November) during the annual London-Brighton veteran car run.

Aiming to complete the 57 mile course in a 1902 James and Browne car, they will also carry a special message of greetings from the businesses and citizens of the City of London to the newly conferred City of Brighton and Hove.

Sir Richard Sykes, the Rector of Imperial College and Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, a FTSE 100 listed company, will travel to Brighton with students in Boanerges ('Bo') a 99 year old car and present the Mayor of Brighton, Cllr Harry Streeter with the message. In return they will receive a message to take back to the City of London.

Bo, owned and cared for by the students of the City and Guilds College Union (representing the engineering and management departments at Imperial College) has successfully completed the run 66 times since he first took part in 1934.

Sir Richard Sykes said: "I'm delighted to travel with our students of the City and Guilds College Union and present this message of greetings from the City of London to the new City of Brighton and Hove."

Mustafa Arif, President of the City and Guilds College Union said: "The achievement of keeping a 99 year old car running is made all the more extraordinary by the fact that it has been handed down by generations of volunteer students. It is a tribute to their dedication that Bo is able to take part in his 67th Brighton Run."

This year's journey is expected to take 8 hours from their departure at 7am in Hyde Park to their arrival at Brighton Pier.

PHOTO AND FILM OPPORTUNITY: The City and Guilds College Union students will arrive in Brighton at approximately 3pm. Please contact Peter Burge or Paul Trompeteler (details below) if you would like to arrange to film or take stills of the student team and Sir Richard Sykes with Bo'. At the finish the Mayor of Brighton will greet Bo' and receive a letter from Sir Richard Sykes.

Other filming opportunities include the Hyde Park start at 7am; and Westminister Bridge where all cars pass, between 8.30 and 10am on Sunday 4 November.

For more information please contact:

Paul Trompeteler

Notes to Editors:

1. The London Brighton event is open to all motor vehicles (3 wheels or more) built before January 1905. It is run by the Veteran Car Club of Great Britain.

2. The City of Brighton and Hove won the right to call itself a city in December 2000 when the Queen marked the millennium and the 50th anniversary of her accession to the throne by granting city status to three towns. Only 14 city statuses were conferred during the 20th century.

3. Bos name is taken from the Bible (Mark 3:17) and means "Sons of Thunder ". This gives a pretty accurate description of the noise he makes as he hurtles around the streets of London. Horses are particularly susceptible to the noise and we frequently have problems with bolting horses. Quite how horse drawn carriages put up with the noise of Bo in the first few years of the 1900s remains a mystery.

4. City & Guilds College was founded by the City & Guilds of London Institute and merged with the Royal College of Science and the Royal School of Mines in 1907 to form Imperial College. The College and the students' union have maintained close links with the City of London.

5. Boanerges Mk II arrived at Imperial College in 1934, replacing the previous Boanerges (a 1908 Rover) which was left in Downing Street as a student protest against then Prime Minister Ramsay Mar Ramsay MacDonald.

6. Bo' is maintained entirely by volunteers students of the City & Guilds College Motor Club.