The Construction Development Alliance (CDA) Awards Evening 2018

The Construction Development Alliance (CDA) Awards Evening 2018

We are happy to be a part of the Construction Development Alliance (CDA).

One of the reasons is because we are among like-minded construction professionals who are eager to congratulate young individuals who strike to be the best in their fields.

Thursday 24th May 2018 the CDA conducted their bi-annual Young Persons in Construction Awards.

Along with the CDA members were guests from all over the north-west.

In attendance this year was the Chartered Institute of Buildings (CIOB) which is a great privilege for the young professional as they can build on their networks with the chartered building experts.

The Event

The highlighted talk for the evening was Women in Construction.

Along the lines of women in male-oriented roles, the special guest host was none other than Ms Charlie Dimmock from Ground Force.

We were entertained by the story of how she came to be on Ground Force, she shared many bloopers during her career.

Her stories are funny and memorable, we were very impressed with Ms Dimmock.

Charlie Dimmock giving her presentation.

To talk about the benefits of women in construction Chair Emily Millar of Hawthorn Estates.

The Awards

  • Overcoming Diversity – Jack Silcox
  • Apprentice – Megan Talbot
  • Construction Professional – Brad Lees
  • Construction Environmentalist – Caitlin Thompson
  • Designer – Micheal Burdaky
  • Highly Commended Apprentice in Construction – Conor Birtwistle.

Our overall winner when to Jack Silcox.

The members of the CDA are determined to support young people in construction to achieve higher and to create those long lasting business connections that will benefit them in their future plans.


The Charity

This year the charity was the YMCA Housing. So, the amount raised during the awards was £1753.00

If you would like to donate to this charity please follow this link.

There were 11 hampers – eg. picknick, barbeque, bathroom, celebration etc.

A Lollipop Topiary Tree was also up to be won on the night.

The winners of the hampers had received the sponsors business leaflets along with lots of different treats. (depending on what hamper they won)

At the end of the event, the CDA happy donated the Flower arrangements to the Pendall Side Hospice in Burnley.

Construction Development Alliance Awards Nominations

The Construction Development Alliance (CDA) are hosting awards on the 24th May 2018.

It is held every two years to congratulate five construction individuals on their hard work and determination in the construction field.

There are few awards in the country for young individuals and the CDA are excited to be among the few that can contribute to supporting them as well as helping a local charity.

This year’s awards will be held at the Burnley Mechanics.

If you know of an exceptional young construction individual why not nominate them now! the deadline is fast approaching.


Apply By!








Show your support for the young construction people.

The guest host for this years event is Charlie Dimmock from ‘Ground Force’, she along with the award sponsor will hand the award to the winner.


The categories are:

  1. Overcoming Diversity
  2. Young Apprentice
  3. Young Construction Professional
  4. Young Construction Environmentalist
  5. Young Designer

All winners receive a trophy and a prize.



This year the chosen charity is YMCA Housing Trust.

Annual Traditional Plastering Craft Gathering

The  Annual ‘Gathering’ of the New Guild for the Traditional Plastering Craft, was held this year on September 8-9 2017. The venue was the Heritage Craft Alliance training centre in Thorpe Perrow in Bedale, North Yorkshire.

Mr. Glenn Young the founder welcomed us, to this specialist training centre. He explained the need for such craft based training, also the focus and development of the centre.

The setting of the centre is ideal as traditional building are available for repair and renovation.

The guild took a big step forward with the selection of a chairman and committee of who can drive its development. Philip Gaches explained that with an increasing membership and work load, it seemed the right time for him to take on a smaller role allowing other members to move the guild forward.

The Program

The 2 day program began with slide shows and discussions by experienced craftspeople who are leaders in their particular fields, the presentations outlined the work methods that were employed to overcome problems, selection of materials and techniques used.

The sessions were then followed up by practical demonstrations in the centres workshops.

Practical Demonstations

Mr. Keith Langton open the Friday with a demonstration of using a variety of mounds for casting, and the methods and techniques in using plaster and Jesomite products. This included the use of traditional reinforcing materials such as the traditional timber lath, hessian, cotton and the more modern GRG (Glass Reinforced Gypsum) fibre mesh.


Mr. Mark McCorrie demonstrated methods of dealing with plaster lath ceilings that need remedial work to stabilise them. The problems of water penetration, infestation, lath failure to other trades damaging the historic fabric were discussed and methods old and new discussed. Mark reviewed his methods developed from his personal experience. (Photographs show Demonstration of mechanical and resin based fixing methods and solutions). Main point was how to preserve historic ceilings and decorative plasterwork often attached to them with minimal intervention. A very interesting session and lively discussion followed as to the pros and cons of the various methods and techniques.


One of the best known practitioners of Pargetting in the country is Bill Sergeant provided an insight into the historic decorative external lime work he and his team had carried out. Using a small lath panel prepared with a lime mortar floating coat, scratched an outline of the design. Then built up the layers of lime mortar then after completing the design applied a hot lime wash over surface. Bill has been feature on a number of TV programmes over the years.

Andrew Fawcett who works closely with Bill Sergeant, provided an insight into the application of the application of frescos, it limitations and it development from famous examples in Italy, to the history of painted lime plastered wall surfaces.

Phil Gaches and George O’Malley concluded the session with a reminder about how to maintain and length our working lives. Reminding us of  our hand board skills and the fewer the movements the less wear and tear.

Kevin and Bill took the opportunity of wearing our new corporate sweat shirts.

Sympathetic works ltd was represented by Kevin Millar and Bill Oakes. We would like to thank all who made the two days instructive and enjoyable.

The New Guild for the Traditional Plastering Craft.

National Heritage Training Group.

Princes foundation. Email

The Gathering of the Historic Plasterers.

A gathering of the historic plasterers was held at Philip Gaches Lincolnshire workshop, Philip organised and hosted the event.

This two-day event brought together construction professionals, crafts people and SPAB students specialising in conservation and restoration.

The program including talks and demonstrations by experts in the various traditional crafts and disciplines.


The discussions highlighted the urgent need for the different specialist training and for recognition, skills and understanding to be of the highest degree.

There is a need to have the right skills for restoration, repair and maintenance work, as this is very important. In addition, these skills are vital when dealing with heritage buildings; especially those older than 1919. Any work attempted by untrained people would create more problems in the future.

Example – Bill Sargent came to do remedial work on a property, he was unable. This small job turned into a major renovation; due to badly executed work and wrong materials. The previous work men had not been trained in heritage and conservation methods.

Need for higher-level heritage building and conservation students.

UK’s buildings are getting older, heritage and conservation training is needed. Moreover, to save these historic buildings more people are needed to train in conserving heritage buildings.

Historic Techniques Demonstrated

Philip Gaches – Elizabethan and Jacobean decorative plasterwork.

Andrew Fawcett – The painting frescos on lime plaster, and the application of sgraffito.

Martin Brown director of Warmcote, – the development and use of a new lime based wall coatings for traditional building.

Bill Sargent and Johanna Welsh  – known for their expertise Bill and Johanna discusted the history of Pargetting, its practical application spread to other regions in the UK.

Nigel Copsey –  Master Mason, Nigel demonstrated the advantages of ‘hot lime mixes’ when carrying out restoration and repair work on historic buildings.


A new plastering guide has been created for traditional plasterers, conservators and experts in associated areas.

We wish all success to the ‘New Guild for the Plastering Craft’.

William and Kevin enjoyed the event very much, we are grateful to Philip and his family for their hospitality.