You're hired! Volunteer apprentice learning skills at Hartlebury museum (From Kidderminster Shuttle)
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You're hired! Volunteer apprentice learning skills at Hartlebury museum
7:40am Monday 17th September 2012 in News
HARTLEBURY-based Worcestershire County Museum has recruited a volunteer wheelwright apprentice following an appeal.
The museum, at Hartlebury Castle, advertised earlier in the year for an apprentice to learn the traditional skills of woodworking and wheelwrighting from its longstanding volunteer Ced Lewis.
Mr Lewis, 83, has volunteered at the museum for more than 20 years, travelling twice a week from Wolverhampton.
A retired engineer, he took up woodworking when he began volunteering at the museum and developed his skills in the craft to a high level over the years.
Earlier this year, Mr Lewis decided the time had come to pass on his skills to someone who would be able to learn the traditional craft and continue to help the museum in future years.
A number of applications were whittled down to three people given a woodworking test.
Successful candidate Mark Clements, 51, of Lickey Hills, has now been working at the museum alongside Mr Lewis two days a week for the past three months.
Recently retired from a local authority Mr Clements had no previous woodworking skills but was keen to learn.
He said: "I'm a practical person. I've always been keen on DIY and I appreciate fine woodwork so I thought I'd give it a go. I never expected to get the job though.
“I absolutely love it. Ced is an inspiration and I'm learning new skills all the time. I also love being here at the castle. It's a smashing place, very peaceful. The staff are all very friendly and it's nice to be able to chat to the visitors about what we are doing."
Mr Lewis, said: “Mark's a natural. To have progressed in three months to making complete wheels by himself is very impressive. You show him something once and he's away, it's brilliant.
“There's still plenty more for him to learn though. I've been doing this for 20 years and I'm still learning. There are very few working wheelwrights in the country now and it's very important to me that my skills are passed on."