After a break of some 7 years The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers were pleased to be invited by Lieutenant Colonel Guy Cheesman CEng MlnstRE Commanding Officer 1 Royal School of Military Engineering (1 RSME to demonstrate their skills in the craft of bricklaying and enjoy a tour of Royal Engineers Museum, incorporating lunch at The Officers Mess.
The event was attended by 18 members and guests and upon arrival at 08:00 were taken straight to their classroom for a full briefing.
The morning's task was explained, together with all health and safety related matters. The goal, to construct, from scratch, a feature wall panel highlighting the year 2023, with simple raked back side returns.
As all the competitors were about to find out, it looked a far simpler challenge when presented on screen than it was to turn out to be in practice!
Everyone processed out of the classroom to collect their PPE, divide into teams of two and meet their mentor, a Royal Engineers Sapper allocated to each pair for the morning. Shortly afterwards, competitors were shown to their workspace and at 09:30 sharp, the challenge began in earnest.
3 Hours was allocated for the task and this time soon passed!
At the end of the challenge the competing teams, their mentors and finished brick panels presented for inspection: -
Liveryman Gerald Classey and guest Steven Percival
Liveryman Wayne Sheppard and his wife Carole
Past Master Lesley Day and husband Malcolm
Past Master Jeff Fuller and Liveryman Nick North
Upper Warden Chris Causer and Liveryman Ian Ogden
The Mistress Helen Schofield and Jannine White
The Master John Schofield and Past Master Michel Saminaden (praying to the brick gods for forgiveness!)
At the end of the competition everyone retired to the Officers Mess for lunch ably led in by LT Jonathan Patrick (known as JP to his students), whilst SSGT Dave Collins and Stephen Turner, Lead Instructor from MKC Training our two judges for the day inspected the pieces of work and marked them on merit being mindful of the amount of assistance provided by their mentors during the competition!
SSGT Dave Collins and LT Jonathan Patrick
Following lunch, the group enjoyed a tour of the Royal Engineers Museum which included a perfect photo opportunity alongside the polar sundial designed by Past Master Piers Nicholson.
This polar sundial was one of three that formed part of a joint venture between The Royal Engineers and The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers in 1999 to design and construct 3 polar sundials that were then presented to the City of London in the Millennium year.
One is located on the North Bank of the River Thames adjacent to the Millennium Bridge, one is located on the South Bank of the River Thames close to the Millennium Dome Ecology Park and the third, shown in the photograph below, is displayed in the Royal Engineers Museum in Chatham. All three sundials were constructed at the Royal School of Military Engineering, and each contains a time capsule enclosing the Company and Royal Engineers Lists.
At the end of the tour everyone gathered to hear the names of the winning teams and offer their congratulations at the prize giving. This year’s prizes were kindly donated by Chairman of The Craft Committee, Court Assistant David White
This year’s winners of “Best Bricklayer” and worthy recipients of the Golden Trowel, were the team of Upper Warden Chris Causer and Court Assistant Ian Ogden
And this year’s winners of “Best Endeavours” was presented to The Mistress Helen Schofield and Jannine White
We wish to extend our heartfelt thanks to our hosts, The Corps of the Royal Engineers and in particular Lieutenant Colonel Guy Cheesman CEng MlnstRE Commanding Officer 1 Royal School of Military Engineering (1 RSME) for enabling our fantastic day at RSME, Chatham, Stephen Turner Judge and Instructor from MKC Training, SSGT Dave Collins and LT Jonathan Patrick for being our judges for the day and all the Sappers who gave up their time to guide us through our bricklaying task with such patience and precision.
Court Assistant, David White - Chair of the Craft Committee