When welcoming members of the Company, their guests and prize winners to the 2022 Craft Awards, the Master commented that it was very gratifying to see that so many had taken the opportunity to meet in person once again at a Tylers and Bricklayers’ event.

The annual Craft Awards and Luncheon was held on Thursday 10th March 2022 in the splendid surroundings of Trinity House. Overlooking the Tower of London, it is a venue that has hosted previous Craft Awards.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 restrictions, some Awards were not made in 2021. The Craft Committee took the decision that the 2021 prize-winners should not be excluded and so were invited to this year’s event.

The annual Craft Awards are regarded by many members as one of the most significant events in the Tylers and Bricklayers’ Livery Company calendar. It is the event that is a showcase for young craftsmen and women beginning their careers; those who teach, train and mentor them and those who, in the opinion of their peers, should be recognised as Master Craftsman, for having demonstrated the very highest standards in their craft.

The Awards recognise Master Craftsman – Heritage Bricklayer, Master Craftsman – Roofer Slater and Tiler and Master Craftsman – Wall and Floor Tiler.
The Tylers and Bricklayers have a long association with the Corps of Royal Engineers (the Sappers) and the Army Cadet Force and awards prizes to young servicemen and women who, in training, excel in construction related skills such as traditional and modern brick and block laying. In the case of the Army Cadets an award also goes to their Adult Volunteer in recognition of their support.

The Stokes Royal Engineers Awards – Bricklaying. The Tylers and Bricklayers make annual awards to outstanding Class 1 and Class 2 construction trainees from Number 1 Royal School of Military Engineering Regiment based at Chatham. The Royal School of Military Engineering provides the third and final phase of a Sapper’s training before they are posted to an operational unit.

The Cadet Force Award is made to the Best Cadet and Best Adult Volunteer Instructor.

Members of the Company who attended the Craft Awards, their guests, and prize-winners each received a very comprehensive brochure in which a page is dedicated to WorldSkills, WorldSkills UK and SkillBuild. This details the relationship between each and answers the question about eligibility to receive a Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers’ Craft Award.

Very briefly, “WorldSkills UK is an independent charity and a partnership between employers, education, and governments. Together, they are using international best practice to raise standards in apprenticeships and technical education so more young people and employers succeed. WorldSkills UK is a member of WorldSkills, a global movement from over 80 countries. WorldSkills supports young people across the world via competitions-based training, assessment, and benchmarking, with members’ national teams ultimately testing their ability to achieve world-class standards in the biennial global ‘Skills Olympics’.”

“WorldSkills UK National Finals are called WorldSkills UK LIVE. …Finalists must first complete a number of remote and offline tests before taking part in Regional Qualifiers. …The winners of these Regional Qualifiers …prepare for and enter the National Finals. Winners of the National Finals are then eligible for selection onto the international “Squad UK” and showcase their skills on the world stage in both European and Global competition”.

“SkillBuild is UK construction’s specific skills competition. It is run by GoConstruct who are funded from the CITB levy. GoConstruct, under their SkillBuild banner, organise and run the construction specific Regional and National construction skills competitions on behalf of WorldSkills UK”. *

The finals of each of the competitions, held in November 2021, were attended by the Master, Simon Martin and David White, Chairman of the Craft Committee. The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers recognises and rewards the winners of these competitions in the following categories:

The E & R Fuller Award for Bricklaying

The Mason-Elliott Award for Roofing and Slate Tiling (which includes the special book award “The Pattern of Traditional Roofing” kindly donated by its author Liveryman Gerald Emerton).

The Montgomery Award for Floor Tiling
In this category there are usually only the three awards above. However, for the first time, the Company both sponsored and presented an additional award this year, rewarding the winner of the Bricklaying Stretch (speed) Test. A balance of skill, speed and millimetre accuracy that requires competitors to build a decorative pillar in one hour with bonus points for the speed element.

The final award is a Special Recognition Award – Services to Industry, Roof Slating and Tiling.

Having collected their menu and seating plan while in the very stylish Entrance Hall of Trinity House, members of the Company and guests were invited by the Beadle, David Wylie to make their way up the staircase where a Champagne Reception awaited along with a very friendly welcome from the Master, Simon Martin; Upper Warden, John Schofield and Renter Warden, Chris Causer.

An excellent lunch and some fine wines were enjoyed in early Spring sunshine that shone through the large windows of the Trinity House Library.
The Master, having proposed the Loyal Toast with all present responding, then proposed a toast to welcome our guests, and introduced Principal Guest Dr Anna Keay OBE, Director of the Landmark Trust.

Dr Keay responded with thanks, on behalf of all the guests, and then gave a brief history of the Landmark Trust. It is a building conservation charity that rescues buildings of historic interest or architectural merit and then makes them available for holiday rental. Those who rent Landmarks provide a source of funds to support restoration costs and building maintenance. Landmark sites include forts, farmhouses, manor houses, mills, cottages, castles, gatehouses, follies and towers and represent historic periods from medieval to the 20th century. Anna Keay commended the Tylers and Bricklayers for their commitment to the crafts, to the development of the education and training of young people and for recognising Master Craftsman status as evidenced by the Craft Awards.

Dr Keay accepted a cheque from the Master, a donation to the Landmark Trust from the Tylers and Bricklayers’ Craft Trust.
The Toast to the Company was proposed by Liveryman Adrian Blundell.

Court Assistant and Chairman of the Craft Committee, David White, invited the Master and Principal Guest, Dr Anna Keay OBE to present the Company’s 2021 and 2022 Craft Awards.

The Stokes Royal Engineers Award Class 1 Winner 2021 – Lance Corporal Taylor. Assigned to 101 Engineering Regiment Explosive Ordnance Disposal and Search (EOD&S), Lance Corporal Taylor was promoted from Sapper whilst on his A1 Bricklayer and Concreter course in Chatham and is the 2020 winner of the Archbold Award for tradesman of the year in 2020.

The Stokes Royal Engineers Award Class 2 Winner 2021 – Sapper Kieran Green. A former Best Recruit, Sapper Green attended his 0-2 Bricklayer and Concrete course at 1 Royal School of Military Engineering. On completing his trade training, he was posted to 35 Engineer Regiment EOD&S.

Best Cadet Winner 2021 – Cadet Sergeant Amy Erin Vaughan. “…She is one of those unsung senior cadets who is always present and involved, but never seeks the limelight. She is a great credit to her Royal Engineers cap badge.” Cadet Sergeant Vaughan was unable to attend to collect her prize. It was collected on her behalf by her brother Christopher, who is also a Cadet.

Best Adult Volunteer Winner 2021 – Sergeant Instructor Joshua Delius. “…SI Josh Delius is an outstanding young adult volunteer who has quickly shown himself to be a force multiplier at all levels…Enthusiastic, loyal, and professional, he is an outstanding role model to cadets and adults alike”.

Stokes Royal Engineers Award Class 1 Winner 2022 – Lance Corporal Hawkes. Originally enlisted as a Royal Marine in 2001, he later joined the Army in 2017 becoming a member of the Corps of Royal Engineers. “…His practical bricklaying skills were excellent from the start, demonstrating the finesse required to finish his work to a very high standard, reinforced by a sound understanding of brickwork theory.” Lance Corporal Hawkes was unable to attend to collect his prize which was collected on his behalf by Major Paul Hurst.

Stokes Royal Engineers Award Class 2 Winner 2022 – Sapper Charles Sykes. A self-taught bricklayer and plasterer, he joined the Army in 2019. “…His bricklaying skills are to the highest level of professionalism with a keen eye for detail. …and would make a fine candidate to represent the Corps in the WorldSkills competition.”

Best Cadet Winner 2022 – Cadet Drum Major (Sgt) Rami Ahmad. “…one of the most outstanding cadets…a founder member of the Contingent’s Corps of Drums, since taking over as Drum Major last September, he has led it with tact, stringent standards, and an attention to detail.”

Best Adult Volunteer Winner 2022 – Lieutenant Richard Scully. Starting as a non-Uniform Volunteer, Lieutenant Scally joined the Combined Cadet Force (CCF) in 2010 and was later commissioned in 2015. A PE teacher at Queen Elizabeth’s School, Richard is described as, “… a highly dedicated Cadet Force Volunteer who always puts the welfare of his cadets first, always brings a smile to the faces of the cadets and his creativity allows the unit to develop new training strategies”

The Company recognises the WorldSkills UK competition winners with the following awards:

The E & R Fuller Award for Bricklaying 2022 Winner – Mitchell Proctor. Employed by SMW Construction Limited of Preston, Mitchell also attended Preston College where he is highly regarded by his tutors and peers. “…Mitchell carries himself with maturity and is very well respected within our college and amongst work colleagues. His tutor commented, “…On a personal level, having worked with Mitchell for 3 years, seeing what he has achieved filled me with so much pride and justified to me why I became a lecturer.”

The Mason-Elliott Award for Roof Slating and Tiling 2022 Winner – Jordan Maley. A slating apprentice from South Lanarkshire College (SLC), Jordon’s tutor said, “…I would like to say a massive congratulations to Jordan on his performance, the standard of work on show by all competitors was fantastic, and this must have been an extremely difficult task for the judges. Jordan showed that all his hard work both in college and on-site under guidance from his employer Owens LRJ Roofing and SLC Roofing Department, has been well worth the effort.” Jason was presented with an additional award this year, a copy of the comprehensive roofing reference book, ‘The Pattern of Traditional Roofing’ by Liveryman Gerald Emerton.

The Montgomery Award for Wall and Floor Tiling 2022 Winner – Aaron Gillespie. A tiling apprentice employed by Kevin Smyth Elite Tiling and a student at Southern Regional College, Armargh. Aaron was tutored by Paul Doran. Paul is well known throughout the industry and the Southern Regional College was recently designated a Tile Association (TTA) Centre of Excellence.

The Bricklaying Stretch (speed) Test Winner 2022. Harvey Enwright. The Master presented Harvey with his award on the day of the competition.

Recognition of Master Craftsman 2022. There are three recipients of this award, and each has demonstrated, inter alia, an extremely high level in their own training, practical site experience and willingness to assist in the training of others.

Master Craftsman – Heritage Bricklayer – John Gorman. John left school in 1970 and was apprenticed to Sid Massey Builders of Stevenage. He then spent the next 25 years honing his bricklaying skills and, for various contractors, undertook both new build and refurbishment projects. For several years, before founding his present company, Herts Renovation, John traded in his own right as small-scale housebuilder. Herts Renovation specialise in restoration brickwork using, where appropriate, traditional methods, tools, and materials, whilst working on a variety of buildings including Tudor cottages, Manor Houses and Listed Period buildings. *

Master Craftsman – Roof Slater and Tiler – Danny Lyon. Danny began roofing as an apprentice; 3 years later he completed his City & Guilds in Roof Slating, Tiling and Cement Work Craft. He went on to study a Level 3 NVQ in Understanding and Repair and Maintenance of Traditional Pre-1919 Buildings. Danny is now a Member of the Institute of Roofing. He now owns his own company, Lyons Roofing Solutions Limited and prides himself on the technical nature of his craft, his ability to find solutions to the trickiest of roofing situations and the quality of his finished product.

Master Craftsman – Wall and Floor Tiler – Mark Exley. Leaving school aged 15, Mark spent a year completing extended work-experience with his father, an already established and experienced tiler. Here he grasped the fundamental knowledge of the craft that aided his progression on his chosen career path. Working with his father allowed Mark to learn both old and new tiling techniques. His introduction to the demands of construction industry sites came when he joined Hayland Tiling, taking part in large-scale projects. Later, Mark began working for Arvin & Sons Ltd, becoming an expert in terrazzo and floor screeding. Mark and his father Ken now work together at W B Simpson & Sons.

Each Master Craftsman was later invited to sign their entry in the Register of Master Craftsman.

Special Recognition Award – Services to Industry, Roof Slating and Tiling – to Robert (Bob) Coutts for services to the roof slating and tiling industry through his long-served career as an educationalist and mentor for countless apprentices.

In announcing this award, David White, Chairman of the Craft Committee said, “For those of us lucky enough to know Bob personally we cannot thank him enough for everything he has contributed to careers of our youngsters embarking on their apprenticeships, nor put into words the passion and enthusiasm he exudes to the roofing trade. It is with great honour that we bestow this special award on Bob Coutts in 2022 in special recognition of all the great work and commitment that he has shown during his lifetime to the training, encouragement and support of our apprentices and young roofers.”

Each prize winner was applauded by members and guests as they received their award, a framed certificate, medal, and prize while being photographed. Images of the day can be seen by clicking here.

With the formalities complete and with many individuals thanking the staff at Trinity House for their hospitality, the Craft Awards 2022 came to an end.

*Excerpts taken from the Craft Awards brochure, with thanks to David White, Chairman of the Craft Committee.

Court Assistant Alan Dodd