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Tiling apprentice Aaron Gillespie has won the Montgomery Award for Wall and Floor Tiling at this year’s Craft Awards, and Mark Exley, from W B Simpson & Sons, was awarded Master Craftsman – Wall and Floor Tiler.

The Craft Awards were hosted by The Tylers and Bricklayers on 10th March 2022. Awards were presented in three distinct crafts – Bricklaying, Roof Slating and Tiling, and Wall and Floor Tiling.

Aaron Gillespie completed his NVQ Level 3 at Southern Regional College under course tutor Paul Doran, who is also the WorldSkills UK Training Manager.

Aaron competed against six other contestants in the SkillBuild 2021 UK National Finals held in November, and won Gold in the Wall and Floor Tiling Category. As a medal winner in the UK National Finals, Aaron is qualified to enter WorldSkills 2022 which is being held later in October this year in Shanghai.

Right – Aaron Gillespie
Middle – Mark Exley
(Photo credit www.jampondphotography.com)

At the age of 15 Mark Exley spent a year completing extended work experience with his father, who is an established and experienced tiler. Mark then progressed to working for a couple of tiling contractors, gaining experience in large scale commercial tiling projects, in particular an in-depth understanding of terrazzo floors and screeding. At the age of 21 Mark and his father began working for W B Simpson & Sons. This has broadened the scope for Mark to refine the skills which he had acquired in previous employment, sculpting him into the accomplished tiler he is today.

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