This is the first in an occasional series in which we introduce the different trades that work for Stowe and some of the individuals you may see on site.
The formal name for my trade is ‘Site Carpenter’ but I don’t think I have ever been called that. Around site most people refer to me as a ‘chippy’. We do everything on site that involves wood.
The first thing we did here at the medical centre was to make a hand-cut roof, we also did the stud work in the walls and ‘first fix’ things like the door frames and battening walls out. Then we went away and it was plasterboarded and skimmed. Now we are back for the ‘second fix’ which means hanging doors and chopping the locks in, doing the architraves and things like that. Normally we would be doing skirting boards as well but as this is a doctor’s surgery there aren’t any. Then it will be the ‘finals’ like door handles and fitting the kitchen.
If I had to do one thing forever in carpentry it would be the big structural stuff like roofs. It’s rewarding when you step back and look at this big area that was just a hole a couple of days ago and now it has the shape of a roof. I also enjoy the work that requires a little finesse like hanging doors.
I was lucky enough to get an apprenticeship with Stowe and did three years of day-release at college. I worked with some really good chippies over the course of my apprenticeship and since and learned loads from them.
I think the project I am most proud of is Monkey Lodge in Freston. It was like Grand Designs. A beautiful job where Stowe was the sub-contractor responsible for the carpentry. I was there for probably a year with a few other carpenters. A lot of the stuff was bespoke and handmade. It turned out to be absolutely stunning.
Outside of work I am dedicated to fitness and the gym. That means I spend almost all my spare time training or eating huge quantities of food! Alongside that I run a social media channel on YouTube about fitness training. I’d like to travel a lot more. My favourite trip ever was New York. I really like seeing new places but there are other priorities like I’d like to buy a house before too long.
You can find Jamie’s YouTube channel here Jamie Mower