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.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
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

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little