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On Thursday 10 November, Helen and I attended the Brick Awards as the guest of Court Assistant Keith Aldis, CEO of the Brick Development Association. The event was introduced by Keith, and compered by Hugh Dennis, comedian from Radio 4’s “The Now Show” and “Mock the Week”. Hugh explained the importance of clay bricks (hurray) with a history of 9000 years over concrete bricks (boo). He was supported by Peter Dickson, the famous voice-overartist, who is instantly recognisable. There was a strong sustainability theme emphasised by a forest green backdrop.

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Awards was given in 14 categories, ranging from individual housing development to urban regeneration, with special categories for innovation, craftsmanship and specialist brickwork contactor, and this year for the first time two awards for sustainability. Radley College Chapel extension in Abingdon, designed by Purcell Architecture limited, brickwork manufacturer Northcot Brick, and brickwork contactor OG Stonemasonry Contactors limited, drew particular praise and won in several categories finally being declared the Supreme winner.

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A particular favourite of the judging panel, which included Past Master David Cole Adams and Liveryman Ian Wilson, was the restoration of Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland, where mentorship of local contractors was an integral part of the process.

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 It was wonderful to see several Tylers and Bricklayers in the audience, including Past Mater David Szymanski, and perhaps some future members of the Company too!