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Alphabet soup;Jotter

When representatives of the SQA, SCET and the SFEFC sat down in a Portakabin on the banks of the Clyde opposite the SECC, on the site of the GSC, to join with the great and the good of the CBI, the GDA, the SSC, various EBPs and the SSERC, at the invitation of the DTI and DFEE-sponsored SETNET and SETpoint West of Scotland, to debate how to lure pupils into science and engineering, it was a blessed relief from the high-powered discussion (HPD) to be reminded of less frenetic days as the last sea-going paddle-steamer in the world, the PS Waverley, swept sedately past about 60 yards away en route doon the watter.

The appearance of this magnificent example of Clydeside ship-building expertise (CSBE) was an ironic reminder of the hey-days of Scottish engineering when little encouragement was needed from so many well-intentioned acronyms to attract young people towards the "hammer's ding-dong".

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