Home Company History The Craft Charity News Affiliations

Wheelwrights Apprentices on Month’s Training Trip to Colonial Williamsburg

In October 2014 Past Master Graham Westwell received a very generous offer from John Boag, the Master Wheelwright in Colonial Williamsburg to take our two Wheelwright Apprentices for a month. His proposal was to house, feed and transport both the apprentices at his own expense, during their stay. He wanted to have both apprentices at the same time, because he thought that would be the least disruptive to operation of the workshop and his family life.

In preparation for the visit John devised a 20 day programme of work for the two apprentices, covering wheelwrighting skills that would not commonly be learnt in a modern workshop. He had also developed a list of weekend activities, which the apprentices might enjoy.

With the help of the Wheelwrights’ Charity to cover travel costs to Colonial Williamsburg, the two Apprentices, George Richards and Joseph Fredricks set off on their training trip on Sunday 15th March. They will be joined in Colonial Williamsburg by Liveryman Greg Rowland (George’s Master Wheelwright Trainer) on 5th April and he will be seeing the apprentices safely back to England.

Before they departed some pictures were taken of the apprentices at their workshops and these are shown below. The first picture taken at Colyton features (from left to right) George’s sister Abbie, his parents Ian and Nichola, George Richards, Upper Warden David Viner, Greg Rowland, the Master Ian Armfield, Mike and Doreen Rowland.

The second picture, taken up in Southport, features Phillip Gregson’s grandfather, Mick and Andrea Fredricks, Joseph Fredricks and Master Wheelwright Phillip Gregson.

The latest news on the trip is that it is going very well.  The apprentices are showing themselves to be great ambassadors for their families, the Wheelwrights’ trade and the Company.  Their work has been diligent and they have eagerly taken to every new task with youthful exuberance. The two photographs below show George and Joseph at work in the saw pit and listening attentively to John Boag during the first week of their visit to Colonial Williamsburg.

After returning from their trip, George and Joseph will be providing a write up of their experiences, which will be posted on the website.



Apprentices News March 2015

As part of National Apprenticeship week, Liveryman and Master Wheelwright Greg Rowland and his apprentice George Richards attended an event at the House of Commons on Tuesday 10th March. The event was aimed at small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and the benefits of apprenticeships to both employers and apprentices. It showcased the work of SME’s employers and apprentices as part of the Made by Apprentices exhibition, highlighting the talents of apprentices and the contribution they make to their businesses.

Greg and George are pictured below talking to Andrew Jones MP, who is the Apprenticeship Ambassador in the House of Commons.



Apprentice Joseph Fredericks wins 2016 David Bell Memorial Fund Award

At the Heritage Crafts Association Annual General Meeting and Conference on Saturday 7th May Joseph was presented with a framed Certificate and a cheque for £ 3,500 and which he is going to use for purchase of tools.

The David Ball Memorial Fund was set up in 2014 in memory of David Bell, the Chief Executive of NADFAS (National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Association) from 2005 until his untimely death in 2013. This designated fund provides support for young people embarking on a career or course leading to a career in the Arts or Heritage Conservation. NADFAS administer the Award.

Joseph being congratulated by Robin Wood, former Chairman and co founder of The Heritage Crafts Association.


Livery Companies Apprentice Scheme


Livery Company Skills Council promotes vocational training and represents the concerns of Livery Companies to Government and policy makers.

Please click on the document icon on the left for a copy of the Scheme details.

Data Protection Policy Privacy Policy