THRILLED year nine Midhurst Rother College design and technology students enjoyed an invitation only tour of the state-of-the-art Rolls-Royce factory and headquarters at Goodwood.

The visit to West Sussex’s award-winning manufacturing hub – owned by German car giants BMW – was arranged by college chairman of governors Richard Carter, who is also global director of communications for Rolls-Royce.

Students were guided through the illustrious history of the brand, from the launch of the very first car in May 1904 to the luxury fleet today.

Rolls-Royce only makes its prestigious models at Goodwood and the tour followed the customer journey from commissioning a purchase, to viewing the model on the production line.

Students saw both the assembly line and the skilled work carried out by craftsmen in the wood and leather departments.

Each Ghost goes through 16 stations with a build time of an hour each, while the Phantom is fitted in 11 stations at two hours each. Just 15 cars a day are hand-built at the site to customer specifications.

A highlight was taking up Mr Carter’s invitation to sit inside a 1954 Silver Dawn, one of the historic models made when Rolls-Royce was based in Crewe, and experience its luxurious interior at firsthand.