Best in the world! The British brickie and cabinet maker who won gold in world skills Olympics

A session with Team GB psychologists helped them to the top of the podium

Great Britain has added to its Olympic gold medal haul thanks to the world class handiwork of a bricklayer and cabinet maker.

Building on the success of London 2012 the nation's best apprentices triumphed at the Skills Olympics in Leipzig. The winners revealed a session with Team GB psychologists helped them to the top of the podium.

Bricklayer Ashley Terron took gold and secured a record number of points in his event. The 21-year-old from Warrington had 22 hours spread over three-and-a-half days to build a German-style arch, an eagle with a crest and the Brandenburg Gates. Using around 800 bricks, the designs earned him an 89.3 per cent rating from judges, the highest ever in the bricklaying discipline.

Speaking as the team celebrated their last night in Germany before flying home, he told the Independent: "I trained a year and a half for this, making sacrifices along the way. A week spent at Loughborough University with the same sports psychologists that Team GB used before the Olympics also really helped.

"We looked at all aspects of the mental side of competition - techniques to calm down when you might get anxious, things to do to take your mind elsewhere. I learned a lot that week."

Mr Terron, the third generation of a building family and who has just graduated from the University of Salford where he had been studying construction, has been proudly telling friends he is now "the world's best brickie".

He said: "I've got the medal beside my bed and wake up to check it's still nice and shiny in the morning. To win gold in bricklaying is just amazing. It still hasn't really sunk in that I am the best young bricklayer in the world."

Mr Terron said his former headmaster had tried to dissuade him from going into the industry. "He pulled me to one side and said 'why do bricklaying? You're a bright lad.' I was pretty offended given my family history. I'd say to him 'look at me now'.

"I want to show the UK how apprenticeships and vocational training can enable young people to gain a real qualification and a real future. I've learnt a lot from my dad and brother and the three-year apprenticeship, and hopefully this will lead on to other things, maybe working abroad or setting up my own company."

Cabinet maker George Callow also won gold at WorldSkills 2013, defeating 23 rivals, and was also named "best of nation" among the 33 apprentices who formed Team UK in an event that tests the skills of trainees at the workbench or in the factory. He told the Independent how a 5th birthday present of a hammer and screwdriver set him on the path to gold in Germany.

"It might not be your average five-year-old's birthday gift but it was great for me. I always knew I wanted to go into woodwork from a very young age. My dad used to do lots of work around the house and I'd be joining in with my tools. Then I started making wooden toys and eventually go-karts."

Mr Callow, 21, from Chichester in West Sussex, praised his teachers at Chichester College who pushed him to fulfil his ambitions. He divided his apprenticeship between the college and Rolls Royce where he worked on walnut dashboards for the luxury car.

Any dreams of following in the footsteps of the great furniture makers Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite and creating a company synonymous with his surname must wait as he returns to Cimitree Furniture in Hampshire, where he is employed as a junior cabinet maker. "They're a fantastic company and I still have a lot to learn," he said.

Mr Callow's grandfather was also a cabinet maker but died before he was born. A small plane and hammer, the only tools that remained from the kit that belonged to his grandfather, were given to him by his grandmother and Mr Callow used them to help make an oak bureau that won him top prize in Leipzig.

Team UK won 23 awards in total, including a silver and three bronze medals, at the four-day event which more than 1,000 apprentices from 54 countries in 46 different disciplines. Welding, car painting, joinery and floristry were among some of the other categories.

David Cameron said: "British ambition and ingenuity has once again taken on and beaten the best in the world and I extend my congratulations to Team UK."

Ann Watson, managing director of skills organisation EAL which supported Team UK at the event, said: "They are heroes and heroines, each and every one of them."

The next Skills Olympics tales place in Sao Paolo in 2015.

Voices
The Sumatran tiger, endemic to the Indonesian island of Sumatra, is an endangered species
voicesJonathon Porritt: The wild tiger population is thought to have dropped by 97 per cent since 1900
Arts and Entertainment
Beast would strip to his underpants and take to the stage with a slogan scrawled on his bare chest whilst fans shouted “you fat bastard” at him
musicIndie music promoter was was a feature at Carter gigs
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Story line: Susanoo slays the Yamata no Orochi serpent in the Japanese version of a myth dating back 40,000 years
arts + entsApplying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
Performers dressed as Tunnocks chocolate teacakes, a renowned Scottish confectionary, perform during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
news
Life and Style
Popular plonk: Lambrusco is selling strong
Food + drinkNaff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Shake down: Michelle and Barack Obama bump knuckles before an election night rally in Minnesota in 2008, the 'Washington Post' called it 'the fist bump heard round the world'
newsThe pound, a.k.a. the dap, greatly improves hygiene
Arts and Entertainment
La Roux
music
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
comedySean O'Grady joins Graham Fellows down his local Spar
News
people
News
Ross Burden pictured in 2002
people
News
Elisabeth Murdoch: The 44-year-old said she felt a responsibility to 'stand up and be counted’'
media... says Rupert Murdoch
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Extras
indybest
Sport
Arsenal signing Calum Chambers
sportGunners complete £16m transfer of Southampton youngster
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Junior / Graduate Application Support Engineer

£26000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful international media organ...

QA Manager - North Manchester - Nuclear & MOD - £40k+

£35000 - £41000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: QA Manager -...

Property Finance Partner

Very Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: LONDON - BANKING / PROPERTY FINANCE - ...

Agile Tester

£28000 - £30000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: An ambitious...

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on