Green Goblins Tour McLaren

Our older Goblins were privileged enough to visit McLaren’s Technology Centre HQ in Surrey on Friday, and clearly had the time of their lives! Jude C in Year 7 reported the following:

Eleven buzzing St Faith’s pupils and teachers arrived in the McLaren car park which was full of Mercedes! We climbed on to the posh leather-seated minibus that chauffeured us to the building. To be honest it was more like the MI5 headquarters than the McLaren headquarters. The building was shaped like a banana but one side was made entirely from glass. On the inside of the banana was a vast lake. We stood in complete awe as we were introduced to Amanda McLaren ‒ she was no other than Bruce McLaren’s daughter!

Amanda McLaren, and her husband Steven,  led us up to a curved ‘wall’. Steven waved his hand in front of the wall and it started to turn revealing a corridor behind it. At this point all eight children were convinced we had walked into MI5. The corridor opened up to a room with three straight walls and one shaped like an ‘s’.  We sat down on the leather sofas that filled the room. A short film projected its self on to the funny shaped wall. The film finished and the group started to stand up, when suddenly the two curves that made up the ‘s’ shape parted, revealing a carbon fibre turntable with the McLaren P1 sat nicely on it.

We left the room and walked back to the reception hall. Amanda McLaren led us through the hall, showing us the magnificent cars on display. From Lewis Hamilton’s 2008 Grand Prix car, to the first car Bruce McLaren ever raced and the bike Mark Cavendish won the Tour de France on, we saw it all. In the background, we were able to view engineers constructing, by hand, Jenson Button’s Formula One car that he will be racing in the next Grand Prix!

After our time travel though McLaren cars, Steven led the group through a downward sloping corridor to the production line where all McLaren cars are made. We were all expecting a noisy, dirty room full of machinery, but when the group entered we saw about 70 men all working at completely spotless work stations, the only machinery in sight was a computer at each work station. Every part of the car is assembled by hand, not machine. We stayed on the production line for another 20 minutes admiring the experts’ handiwork.

I can’t thank Mr Dennis and Henry Parnell, an old Leysian who works at McLaren, enough for organizing this visit and for giving us this once in a lifetime opportunity.

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