Alec works for fine furniture and kitchen makers, Griggs and Mackay in Caversham. They sent Alec on the course as a part of his woodworking training. He has a Fine Art degree and before joining Griggs and Mackay worked for Cliveden Conservation on the restoration and conservation of properties and places including Highclere Castle, Grafton Street in London and St Mary’s Church in Oxford. Alec has also worked as part of carpentry and construction teams designing and building film sets.
Bella joined us in January… shortly after finishing the 12 week course in December (see her full profile here). Bella wasn’t made to stay behind for bad behaviour, but decided that, despite it being tough by the sea with an extensive range of break-time biscuits, her woodworking skills would benefit more from another 3 months at the Academy than any of her alternatives. She says she loved it so much she considered stowing away under one of the boats if we said ‘no’. But we were delighted to make some adjustments to her training programme and Bella, in effect, completed a 6 month course. Bella says redoing the course was one of the best decisions she ever made.
Corinne is a member of the Lyme Regis Gig Club Sea Shanty Singers (who recently performed for HRH The Duke of Kent after his visit to the Boat Building Academy) and is also one of The Luggers, Lyme Regis’s Ukulele band. Corinne taught counselling at an FE College in Buckinghamshire before moving to Lyme in 2013 and hadn’t done any practical work before. By joining the course Corinne killed a number of birds with one stone; she learned woodworking, built her own ukulele as part of the course and spent three months with son Will… who is the Academy’s Woodworking Skills Instructor. Will says ‘Once she stopped calling me darling in the workshop it worked very well’.
Peter joined the Academy following a career in IT where for many years he managed and delivered services for House of Fraser. He went on to work for British Car Auctions where he started new IT support systems and most recently worked as a freelance IT consultant. Peter first came to the Academy in 2012 when he joined the five day Basic Woodworking short course after which he built a strip plank Canadian canoe. With a love of woodworking and sailing, Peter returned to the Academy to expand his woodworking skills. After the course he will repair and make boats and furniture.
Sam joined the course from London where he has worked as a content developer for a museum design agency and co-director of a business setting up and managing radio stations. In 2011 he bought a flat in need of renovation. He decided to take on the work himself, which involved laying floors, building an en-suite bathroom and much more. It was such a satisfying experience that Sam decided to make a living from renovating houses. For the last couple of years he has worked on different projects with a variety of trades people. To develop his skills, confidence and ability to produce finer, bespoke pieces Sam joined the 12 week course.
Simon is from Ireland. He worked in IT and as an outdoor activities instructor before, eight years ago, making a career in the superyacht industry. Simon bought a plot of land in Cape Town at the beginning of 2015 on which he will build his own home. He came to the Academy to learn the woodworking skills he needs for its construction and to make fittings and furniture. Once the house is complete Simon will run a furniture making business and coffee shop from his new home.