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Student's gift given standing ovation

PUBLISHED: 16:25 23 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:43 03 March 2010

A STUDENT has presented a unique bench he made as part of his A-level coursework to a sports centre for its grounds.

It took Robert Clarke, 18, two terms to design and make the unusual bench as a major part of his Design and Technology course at Orwell High School, Maidstone Road, Felixstowe.

A STUDENT has presented a unique bench he made as part of his A-level coursework to a sports centre for its grounds.

It took Robert Clarke, 18, two terms to design and make the unusual bench as a major part of his Design and Technology course at Orwell High School, Maidstone Road, Felixstowe.

Robert, who is now embarking on a boatbuilding career at Lowestoft, presented the bench to Doreen Savage, chairman of Suffolk Coastal District Council, to be sited on the grassed play area at the town's Brackenbury Sports Centre.

Constructed of tropical hardwood and steel, the bench was made after full discussions with the Richard Rutterford, manager at Brackenbury in High Road East, and with town planning officials so that the design was compatible with existing furniture and with corporate design plans within Felixstowe.

Robert chose seating as the theme of his project, and established his own brief and specification for the bench under the guidance of his teacher Derek Woodward.

Having seen an opportunity at the centre, he was able to focus his design on a particular kind of seating for public use.

The bench is slatted to enable easy repair and maintenance and research into considerations such as the amount of use by the public, comfort, weatherproofing, and fixings compatible with Health and Safety requirements were part of the work that Robert had to put into production.

The bench, which is two metres long, had to be of a heavy duty design as well as being an attractive addition to facilities at Brackenbury.

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