On Tuesday 13th November, VIP guests, teachers, governors and business leaders attended a celebratory meal at Crawley College as part of a year of celebrations to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the college.
The college was delighted that several family members of the college’s original principal – Theodore Siklos, were able to attend. Professor Siklos’ sons Stephen and Paul gave a fascinating profile of their father’s journey from Budapest, where he spoke Hungarian and German, via the University of Brno, now in the Czech Republic, to Wimbledon Technical College and then finally to Crawley where he oversaw the building of the college from nothing more than a building site.
They spoke warmly about their father’s time at the college and brought to life the total transformation that the engineering department has gone through – from an annex on Robinson Road with a single, temperamental computer, to the Advanced Technology Centre which features the latest industry-standard equipment for renewable and sustainable technologies. Engineering continues to be one of the foundation subjects of the college – no doubt as part of Professor Siklos’s legacy.
The evening started with a drinks reception in the college’s Advanced Technology Centre, and a tour of the college’s engineering facilities, before a delicious meal was served in the college’s newly refurbished restaurant.
The college’s hospitality students designed and created a three-course dinner, based on the original menu served in 1986 when the Siklos building opened. Guests were treated to Waldorf salad, lamb loin, vegetable Wellington and chocolate orange choux pastry for dessert.
Vicki Illingworth, College Principal, commented “it was fantastic to see the restaurant buzzing and the students served up really excellent food. Our guests were very complementary about the evening and the journey they could see the college is on – we are very proud that the hard work we are doing is making a difference!”
58 Café Bar and Restaurant is open to the public from Monday to Friday in term time, serving barista-made coffee and homemade cakes all day, as well as a three course express lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Meals are cooked and served by the college’s hospitality students under the expert supervision of our chef-lecturers.