Primary seven pupil, Aoibhe Baine, from St Brigid’s Primary School in Brocagh, Co Tyrone got more than she bargained for when she wrote to Charles Hurst Land Rover as part of a school project.

Ten year-old Aoibhe and her class were tasked with writing a letter to a business of their choice, with the children hoping for little more than a short response acknowledging their letter had been received and read.

Motor fan Aoibhe, whose favourite car is a Range Rover, chose the 4x4’s Northern Ireland dealership, Charles Hurst Land Rover as the recipient for her letter. In the six page letter she provided some background about her school, her family and friends and her love of the Range Rover.

“My name is Aoibhe Baine. I am ten years old and I live in a village called Aghagallon. I am writing this letter because my teacher Master McKernan wants us to write a letter to local Irish companies, instead of writing to fake people like in ‘Away with the Words’. Out of all the companies in Ireland I chose your company Range Rover, because it is local and it is my favourite car.”

“I love Range rovers when they are on the road. They are like the boss of all cars. I would love a reply from the best company in the world. It would be a dream. I always ask my daddy for one, not my mum because my daddy drives me to school, so if my dad gets one, I will get to go in it every day. I always ask him to get one, but if we win a million pound, oh he would, but unfortunately he did not.”

Head of Charles Hurst Land Rover, Lars-Erik Aaroy, received the letter and was so impressed he invited Aoibhe to the showroom in Belfast, then visited the school and arranged for her family to have the loan of a car for the weekend. Replying to the Range Rover fan, Lars-Erik said:

What an absolutely wonderful letter I received from you! My name is Lars-Erik, I am from Norway and moved to Belfast to work with Land Rover, Range Rover and Jaguar. Well, that’s not quite true: I married a girl from Belfast 25 years ago. Since then we have lived and worked in many countries in Europe, and this time my wife said “time for me to go home now!”. So I followed her here. It has been very nice, I love Northern Ireland. Not least because I was so lucky to get to work with these cars, which I am glad to hear are also your favourites.”

Principal, Stephen Baine, said of the letter writing project,

“All of the children put a great deal of time and effort into their letters, with many receiving lovely responses with small gifts or offers to visit the company in person. It has been wonderful to see the entire class get so involved in the project and with each reply to the letters they have all been thrilled for each other.

“We aim to teach important life skills which can actually be used in real life, and writing a letter, whether it’s sent by post or email, is just one skill which we believe is important to learn.

“We were delighted to be able to welcome Lars-Erik to St Brigid’s. The whole class were very excited to see the carand meet the visitors from Belfast. It’s just one example of how hard work pays off.”

Head of Charles Hurst Land Rover, Lars-Erik Aaroy, added,

“It was wonderful to receive Aoibhe’s letter and to meet her teacher and the rest of her class. It was clear to see the effort she had put into writing her letter and it seemed fitting to recognise that by treating her to experience her favourite car for the weekend. At Charles Hurst our motto is ‘Customers for Life’, and being a small part of this school project is a great way of putting that into practice”.

Following her weekend as a passenger of her dream car, Aoibhe said,

“I was so excited to receive the letter from Lars-Erik. He sent lots of goodies which was amazing and then his letter said we could borrow a Range Rover for a weekend which was fantastic. I went with my friends to Portrush and watched a movie on the onboard screen. It was so much fun.”