2nd October 2015
Twins William and Charlie Dickinson are the first apprentices to start work on one of the North’s most anticipated and prestigious residential developments. The 16 year old joinery students, formerly of York High School, recently enrolled on a three year Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) Level 2 Apprenticeship at York College. William and Charlie will start work for Hall Construction Group, the contractor restoring the iconic St Leonard’s Place Grade II crescent in York this month.
Hall Construction Group, a family-run Yorkshire-based multi-skilled contractor, with over 130 years of heritage, has been appointed by property group Rushbond, to restore the landmark building into five elegant townhouses, 29 grand apartments and six mews homes. Built as the pinnacle of grand living in the 19th century, St Leonard’s Place will soon become one of the North’s most prestigious addresses when work completes next year.
Alex Organ, Construction Manager for Halls, says: “This really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these two apprentices to gain first-hand experience on a magnificent building. By shadowing our expert joiners, as they painstakingly restore the floor joists and floorboards through to skirting and architraves, they will learn all about the importance of bespoke workmanship, which should be hugely beneficial to them and their future careers.
“A lot of apprentices tend to work on new build projects when they first start out, and although William and Charlie will be doing some new-built joinery work on the new mews homes, they will predominately be learning about conservation, attention to detail and how to problem solve. William and Charlie will be able to glean a whole host of restoration techniques and skills from our joiners who have decades of joinery experience.”
William says: “It’s a great privilege to have the opportunity to work on such an awesome building, and to play a small part in restoring St Leonard’s Place to its former glory. The fact that I get to work with my twin brother every day is also a bonus – both of us have always been really interested in construction.”
Charlie adds: “We already feel as though we’re learning lots about the art of joinery and how important it is to get every tiny detail in a development like this exactly right. We spend four days a week on-site and a day at York College, so it’s a great mix of theory and practice, and definitely the best way to learn.”
Alex Organ adds: “The construction apprenticeships that William and Charlie are studying in York have been rated as Grade 1 Outstanding, which is exactly the high standard of training that we want our people to complete. After two years they will be able to progress to an Advanced Level 3 apprenticeship with us, and continue to study for even more qualifications in the future if they want to, whilst gaining valuable skills and earning a wage, so there’s no reason why they cannot both go on to enjoy hugely successful careers.”
Mark Finch, Director of Real Estate at Rushbond says: “It is fantastic to hear that the St Leonard's Place development is providing an opportunity for Charlie and William to learn their craft through the restoration of this iconic building.”