Bricklayer awarded Royal scholarship

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A bricklayer has been awarded his qualification by Prince Charles after graduating from The Prince’s Foundation scholarship programme.

Samuel-James Wilson from Whixley, travelled to Dumfries to meet Prince Charles and be presented with his NVQ Level Three in Heritage Brickwork certificate which he achieved through The Prince’s Trust Foundation.

Mr Wilson said: “It was an honour to meet him. He is so passionate and knowledgeable about heritage work and it was interesting to talk to him about that.”

The 25-year-old originally trained as a plumber when he left school, before working as a builder’s labourer and bricklayer.

“After school I was offered to opportunity to work as a plumber but after a couple of years I got sick of fixing smelly toilets on my knees all day.”

Mr Wilson beat hundreds of other applicants for a coveted place on The Prince’s Foundation Scholarship programme.

“There was only around 10 places and hundreds applied to do the course.

“It was a really hard interview process, it was the first time I had to wear a suit.”

He added: “Heritage work is my passion so it was great to learn more about heritage brick work and the techniques needed as part of the course.”

The seven month course took Mr Wilson across the country to work on various landmarks including Lincoln Cathedral and York Minster.

He said: “We are able to learn restoration techniques which is something I would like to be able to do more of in the future.”

He added: “I recently built a folly just outside of Knaresborough for a client and used reclaimed materials and traditional techniques I learnt on the course.”

Mr Wilson feels that he found his calling with bricklaying work and started to blog about his experiences and training on his website http://apprentice-ship.com/ tweeting from @Samuelship.

He said: “Someone I used to work with suggested I blog about my work and experiences and I really enjoy it.”