School-leavers make sure of a vintage night as they ride to prom

122206_VESPA_28/6/12''(l-r) Harrison Hart, Courtney Staples, Brannen Sime (pink), (front) George Thripp, Ben Tully and Joe Flanaghan. 'Admiral Lord Nelson pupils with Vespa scooters which will taken them to their school prom. 'Pictured at Moneyfields, Copnor, Portsmouth.'Picture: Allan Hutchings (122206-590)

122206_VESPA_28/6/12''(l-r) Harrison Hart, Courtney Staples, Brannen Sime (pink), (front) George Thripp, Ben Tully and Joe Flanaghan. 'Admiral Lord Nelson pupils with Vespa scooters which will taken them to their school prom. 'Pictured at Moneyfields, Copnor, Portsmouth.'Picture: Allan Hutchings (122206-590)

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MANY school-leavers arrive at their prom in style.

But while limos and buses are a common choice of transport for the occasion, one group of teenagers decided to do something old-school instead.

Admiral Lord Nelson School pupil George Thripp, 15, and his army of suited and booted friends arrived at their school-leavers bash at Portsmouth Marriott Hotel on the back of Vespa and Lambretta scooters.

The young men kick-started their ride at Moneyfields Sport and Social Club, in Moneyfield Avenue, Copnor. Some of the students joined the riders on a quad bike and in a Volkswagen Beetle.

George rode on the back of his dad Keith’s 1993 Vespa to the event last night. The teenager came up with the idea after he started to take an interest in scooters a couple of months ago.

George, of Lynton Grove, Copnor, said: ‘I love the scooter scene.

‘It’s the clothes, the lifestyle and the look. It’s a way of life.

‘I wanted to arrive to my prom in this way because it adds a touch of class to the evening. This was about all the lads coming together, having a good time and giving everyone we know a good send-off.

‘I didn’t arrange to have a date. I rode on the back of my dad’s scooter for the first time a couple of weeks ago and I loved it.

Ben Tully, 15, who rode on the back of George’s step-brother Thomas ‘Buster’ Manchip’s red and white Vespa, said: ‘The whole experience has been exciting.

‘Though I’ve been a pillion passenger on a scooter before I’ve never been on a Vespa. They’re really vintage.’

Brannen Sime, 15, turned up on a quad bike with an attention-grabbing pink suit.

‘As well as it being a chance to say goodbye, the school prom is all about the entrance and how big you can make it.

‘Everyone was really keen on this idea.

‘I loved the idea of wearing pink because it’s different to what everyone else is wearing.’

George was head boy at Admiral Lord Nelson until he left on Wednesday.

John Flanagan, head of drama at South Downs College, watched the school-leavers as they headed off to their prom.

He said: ‘It was a brilliant idea and the occasion brought the community together.’

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