The following good news story from Stirling and Son in Devonport, Plymouth, a previous beneficiary of a Billmeir Award, has been forwarded by the Chairman of the SA Scheme, James Grazebrook.
I am pleased to tell you both that when I started building the first boat, the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights very kindly granted me £1,000 for tools, many of which I still have. At that time, living beside the vessel in frame in a vintage fire engine, the grant made an enormous difference for which I am still very grateful.
Since regenerating the No. 1 Covered Slipway we have always had apprentices as part of the team, the first starting in 2013 with a bursary from the Shipwrights Apprentice Scheme and later graduated. Before he had completed his first year we had expanded so much I was able to take another apprentice finisher on the books and so the majority of the apprenticeships have been funded by Stirling and Son. Our first apprentice is still with us now and has developed from an utter novice to become an experienced shipwright. In the last year, in addition to yard based work, he has been trusted to represent the firm on traditional boat building projects in Italy, France, Bangkok and Japan.
It is great to see these young lads with an interest in boats develop knowledge, apply that knowledge and become skillful. He was also a grateful recipient of a Worshipful Company of Shipwrights grant for tools.
Between the two yards there are currently three apprentices, one of whom has also been a grateful recipient of a tools grant from the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights.
Therefore, in tool box terms we are ‘roots up’ beneficiaries of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights – thank you!
Photos are: Stirling and Son apprentices; our services; clinker dinghies and Integrity.