17th June 2011 at 01:00

The future is orange

With entitlement funding, which often pays for student union support, being cut to the bone, FErret worried that the days of a strong student voice might be over. How wrong he was!

Reassurance arrives in the form of 18-year-old David Rushton of Tresham College, Northamptonshire, who was elected to the students' union last year and is proving to be a man who knows exactly what students want: luridly orange fizzy drinks.

David homed in on the disappearance of Irn-Bru from the cafeteria, forcing a U-turn from college bosses and presumably celebratory scenes of students spraying each other with Scottish pop. At least now, when they contemplate the loss of the education maintenance allowance and pound;9,000 fees if they want to attend university, students can drink to forget.

Not such a stupid boy

The varied talents of college students never cease to amaze. The latest frontier for the gifted teenagers of FE is the National Shed of the Year competition, where A-level student Darren Stride has made it to the final.

The 19-year-old, who has just finished exams at East Norfolk Sixth Form College, turned what could have been a nasty case of obsessive-compulsive disorder into charming eccentricity when he gathered five years of collected memorabilia from BBC classic comedy Dad's Army into three sheds, including a wartime Anderson shelter.

Named the Bygones Museum and packed with everything from gas masks and ration books to identity cards and uniforms, it is a tribute to Darren's grandfather John Fenton, who fought in North Africa and Italy during the Second World War.

Darren will be competing for a prize of pound;1,000 on 4 July.

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