Our Annual Craft Awards

March 4 2019 marked a very special day in the calendar of the Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers as we celebrated our annual Craft Awards.

However, before the Ceremony we held a Court Meeting and after the business was concluded Freemen Simon Howells, Steve Brooks and Gary Bricknell were installed as Liverymen. This was particularly special for me, coming from the wall and floor tile industry, as all three work in the industry.

Our principal guest for the Awards was the Rt. Hon. Sir Lindsay Hoyle MP, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.  Sir Lindsay had started his working life as a Bricklayer, before going on to serve in local government and representing Chorley, Lancashire as MP.  Sir Lindsay spoke with warmth about his time as a brickie.

The Awards Ceremony was masterminded by Chris Causer, Chairman of the Tylers and Bricklayers Craft Committee, and I was joined in the Ceremony by Sir Lindsay.  The following Awards were made:

Morgan Chambers from Barnsley College was awarded the E&R Fuller Award for Bricklaying.

Joseph Turner from Leeds College of Building was awarded the Mason Elliott Award for Roof slating and tiling.

Odhran Connolly from Southern Regional College was awarded the Montgomery Award for Wall and Floor Tiling.

Through our support of the Royal Engineers two awards are presented and the winners of the Stokes Royal Engineers Awards were 

Lance Corporal Jordan Hawkins – Class 1

Sapper Ryan Melloy – Class 2

The Company supports Royal Engineer badged Cadet Units in London, and we were delighted to present 

Best Cadet to Cadet Cpl Kirandip Jandu

Best Adult Volunteer to 2 Lt Douglas Horsman.

Both Kirandip and Douglas were from Erith.

Following the reinstatement of Master Craftsmen, the elite in the industry, I was delighted that Daniel Harkin was installed as Master Craftsman Roof slater and tiler, and Liveryman Emma Simpson as Master Craftsman Heritage Bricklayer.

It is a sad fact that tutors are often forgotten in the thank you process.  So, I was delighted that we could recognise Chris Messenger from Leeds College of Building who had significantly advanced the level of roofing skills amongst the students at the College.

Tossing for Charity!

On Shrove Tuesday the annual Inter Livery Pancake Races take place in Guildhall Yard.  This year the sun shone on the “competitors” and the watching crowd.

Team T&B was made up of just two, Liveryman Clare Banks who took part in the Ladies Race and me taking place in the Masters Race.   Team Leader was my Consort.  Training for the event for my part was limited to tossing pancakes in the pan the weekend before.  Thankfully then, and during the race, I didn’t drop a pancake or the pan onto my foot!!

Thankfully I didn’t come last in my Masters Race and Clare won her heat before losing out in the final of the Ladies Race.

The team were supported by a number of Liverymen sporting daffodils and carnations to help raise funds for our Charity of the Year, Red Balloon.

Just under £1000 was raised for Red Balloon, a goodly sum!

Lynn Painter Stainers Awards

Having left the pancakes behind we headed over to the Mall Gallery for the presentation of the 2019 Lynn Painter Stainers Awards, a competition to encourage the very best creative representational painting and promote the skill of draughtsmanship. With prize money of £35,000 the Prize is one of the most prestigious awards to artists in the UK.

The event had been described to me as an exhibition of paintings of a tree that looked like a tree. There were many paintings on display and the Consort and I tried to guess which of the paintings were the winners. How wrong we were in our choices! 

The winner was Jennifer McRae, whose painting is shown below.  She won £20,000 and a gold medal.

Reasons to be cheerful

Malcolm and I had accepted an invitation to join the Worshipful Company of Chartered Accountants for their annual business lecture.

The 2019 lecture was presented by well-known economist and journalist, David Smith of the Sunday Times.

The theme of his lecture was the “B” word, Brexit, for those reading this in several years’ time! Whilst it was obvious which way he had voted in the Referendum, he went through his ten reasons to be cheerful about the economy of the UK post Brexit.  

David also referred to his “skip index”.  He explained he regularly counts the number of skips in his road; one being a dire situation for the country, and four being an exceptionally healthy economy. He had reported two skips on show in the morning, so the world would not come to an end post Brexit!