Downton Abbey's creator Julian Fellowes rode on the Imperial vintage fire engine featured in his TV creation during a College visit last week.
Imperial welcomed Lord and Lady Fellowes for a tour of the South Kensington Campus on Friday 6 February.
Lord Fellowes, who created acclaimed period drama Downton Abbey, took a spin on vintage fire engine and Imperial Mascot Jezebel during the visit, following her appearance on the show last September.
Jezebel was featured in the first episode of Downton Abbey’s fifth season, first broadcast on 28th September 2014, during dramatic scenes of fire on the Downton Abbey estate.
The fire engine, a 1916 Dennis ‘N’ Type fire engine has been the mascot for the students of the Royal College of Sciences - one of the founding three Colleges of Imperial – since the 1950s.
We were both very interested and encouraged to see the tremendous work being done in the Blast Centre to improve treatment of amputees and the war wounded.
– Lord Fellowes
Lord and Lady Fellowes met Imperial’s President Professor Alice Gast, before being given a flavour of some of the research taking place at the College’s Royal British Legion Centre for Blast Injury Studies. The Centre, a UK first, is a collaboration between military and civilian clinicians, scientists and engineers, has influenced both treatment and mitigation of blast injuries.
This was followed by a tour of the Wohl Reach Out Lab – Imperial’s dedicated space for public engagement and school outreach activities. The lab, championed by Lord Winston, Professor of Science and Society at the College, was designed specifically to engage school children in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities. Lord and Lady Fellowes met Year 10 and 11 students from Westminster Academy who were visiting the lab which, since it launched in 2010, has played host to thousands of students from schools across London and more widely.
Their visit ended with a short ride on the much loved fire engine, driven by student members of the RCS Motor Club.
Stephen Ball, a 4th year undergraduate from the Department of Physics and member of the RCS Motor Club, worked as an extra alongside Jezebel during the Downton Abbey filming and also accompanied the fire engine during Lord Fellowes’ visit.
Stephen said: “Working as an extra on Downton Abbey was a fantastic experience. Lord Fellowes wasn’t there during the filming with Jezebel, so I’m really glad that we got to introduce him to her today after her starring role in the show!”
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