Our Blog From Austria

Day one dawned, except it was many hours before dawn, our young travelling engineers had no idea that there were two 5.30s in one day. Zac started the engineering fun by mistakenly removing a seat out of the minibus, a while later that was resolved. A frustrating drive to Stansted, because of diversion on the M11, still arrived at the airport just in time, that’s just in time for Cally to lose her passport, “I swear it was on the tray” 10 MINUTES LATER George gallantly came to the rescue by spotting the said passport poking out of Cally’s bag while Cally was berating the security people for stealing her passport. Any hoo, we must proceed to the bus stop in Slovenia to thumb a lift to Austria.

After an introduction to the senior members of staff and a trip down memory lane of the Austrians visit to Scarborough UTC 12 months ago, our jet setting travelling engineers were given a whirlwind tour of the workshop facilities. I for one was most impressed by the sheer top quality of the work produced by students, gold and silversmithing, CNC work, wood carving, manual milling and turning. Then our band of eager engineers had a lovely break in the canteen funded by our hosts and were looking forward to a 3 hour break but were whisked off for mathematics lesson, the joy radiating from their faces was a wonder to behold.

The college have been very hospitable, the travelling engineers were taken to a local traditional restaurant ‘The blue monkey’ for a typical Austrian lunch, noodle soup, mixed tossed salad with pork and rice, they did UTC proud, no one complained about the lack of trough and all thanked Felix for our hosts generosity. Now back to college for interactive English with Austrian students, followed by an economics lesson.

A full morning of gun related activities, the travelling engineers mustered at 0745 at college, and we were then escorted to Fanzoi, an extremely high end bespoke firearms manufacturer, from 80% to 100% hand made guns, we were talked through manufacturing, from raw steel billets, or titanium, and ‘nut wood’ for the stock (walnut), very impressive. Then onto the Proof House, one of only two in Austria, this is where firearms manufacturers send their weapons to be ‘proofed’, this means test fired with a 25% higher charge than would normally be loaded, to ensure the weapon can take the pressure without exploding, again, incredibly interesting. Then onto the gunsmithing museum, this was a mixture of historical processes of firearms manufacturing, and an awful lot of stuffed animals, topped off by lunch at Blue Monkey.

Our travelling engineers have had to interrupt their absorbing three hour lesson on how to draw an oak leaf with their personally engraved HB pencils to attend an official meeting with The Mayor of Ferlach or Burgomaster. Speeches were made by His Excellence the Mayor our Right Honourable Lady Principal Silka The Worshipful Felix (what a lovely man) and our very own soon to be either knighted or sainted John Connell oh and George Brown. As I write this brief note our wandering engineers are tucking into ham and egg club sandwiches and sticky buns.

So at the conclusion of our young engineers meeting at Rathaus Town Hall the Mayor made the traditional Corinthian gifts of 4000mh power banks to our students and gifts of cooked meats to Mr. Connell and myself we were truly moved by the ceremony.

Cally judged best leaf artist.