Classic van is back to its best thanks to Doncaster students

Students at Communication Specialist College have successfully restored a classic van in four months, ready so it can be used at a garden centre to serve refreshments.
Students at Communication Specialist College have successfully restored a classic van in four months, ready so it can be used at a garden centre to serve refreshments.

Students at a Doncaster college have successfully restored a classic van in four months, ready so it can be used at a garden centre.

Before the young people set about the restoration the van was in such a poor state that it had a ‘roof resembling a colander’.

However, the students from Communication Specialist College, which is part of Doncaster Deaf Trust, managed to turn it around in just four months after starting their work in September.

The 1951 HY Citroen van will now be sent to Walkers Nurseries, a well-known garden centre in Mosham Road, Blaxton, to be used as a decorative attraction and to serve refreshments from.

Andy Boothroyd, tutor at the college, said at first he did not believe that the van could be fully repaired in such a short space of time as it was in such a bad state.

He said: “I first inspected the van, and boy was it bad.

“No one panel was without major issues. The work was all repairable or replaceable but it was going to be a long job.”

He added that he had been impressed with the dedication the students had shown to the project and they way they had worked together as a team.

“We got stuck in though and completed it, while giving the students experience in such a wide range of skills that are used in traditional workshops.”

The huge amount of work needed to make the van as good as new again involved creating whole new body pieces from scratch, remodelling the brakes to make them safe and giving the whole vehicle a paint job in the correct original colour at the end.

Graham Walker from Walkers Nursery, said all members of staff were very grateful for what the students had done and all the hard work they had put in.

He said:“We cannot thank the students and staff at the college enough for their tireless hard work in getting this van ready.

“It will make a brilliant addition to our site and we can’t wait to show it off in all its glory to our visitors.”

For further information about what is on offer at Communication Specialist College Doncaster visit www.deaf-trust.co.uk/college.