Expert Apprenticeship Training on Timber Window Restoration at West Suffolk College

West Suffolk College recently hosted a comprehensive training session on timber window restoration, led by Dave Tiller, Technical Manager from Ventrolla. This session, in partnership with Infinity Architects, aimed at enhancing the skills of 40 apprentices specialising in heritage joinery, and provided invaluable hands-on experience and industry insights. 

A Day of Learning and Skill Enhancement

The day-long training session was delivered to two cohorts and focused on the intricacies of restoring timber windows, an essential skill in heritage joinery. Dave Tiller, known for his extensive experience and deep knowledge in the field, guided the apprentices through both theoretical and practical aspects of the trade.

West Suffolk College logo Joinery Aprentice Training

Theory and Fundamentals

The morning commenced with an engaging lecture where students covered the basics of timber window restoration. They discussed the importance of preserving historical integrity while upgrading the functionality of windows to meet modern standards. The apprentices learned about various types of timber used in historical windows, the common issues encountered in old timber structures, and the appropriate restoration techniques.

Restoration Experience

Following the theoretical session, the apprentices were shown essential restoration techniques, including:

  • Identifying and Assessing Damage: Students learned to evaluate the condition of timber windows and identify common issues like rot, warping, and timber problems.
  • Repair and Restoration Techniques: The apprentices learned about splicing, resin repairs, and re-glazing, essential skills for maintaining the integrity of historic windows.
  • Fine-Tuning for Efficiency: The importance of draught-proofing and energy efficiency was emphasised, demonstrating how to integrate modern solutions without compromising the window’s historical value.

West Suffolk College workshop

Real-World Applications and Future Prospects

Throughout the session, Ventrolla shared real-world examples illustrating the challenges and rewards of working on heritage projects. These anecdotes not only captivated the apprentices but also provided practical insights into the day-to-day realities of the profession.

One apprentice expressed their appreciation, saying, “Dave’s session was incredibly informative and inspiring. It’s not just about fixing windows; it’s about preserving a piece of history. His passion for the craft is contagious.”

Emphasising the Importance of Heritage Joinery

The training session underscored the vital role of heritage joinery in maintaining the country’s architectural legacy. With increasing demand for skilled professionals in the field, sessions like these are crucial in bridging the skills gap and ensuring the preservation of historical buildings for future generations.

Alan Wilkinson, Education & Community Architect at West Suffolk College, highlighted the significance of the training, stating, “Dave Tiller’s expertise has provided our students with a unique opportunity to learn from the best. Hands-on experience is invaluable, and today’s session has significantly boosted their confidence and competence.”

Essential Skills in Heritage Joinery

The training session delivered by Dave Tiller from Ventrolla was a resounding success, equipping the apprentices at West Suffolk College with essential skills and knowledge in timber window restoration. As these young craftspeople continue their studies, the insights and techniques gained from this session will undoubtedly play a crucial role in their development and future careers in heritage joinery.

Ventrolla’s commitment to sharing industry knowledge and fostering new talent is intrinsic, ensuring that the art of timber window restoration thrives in the hands of the next generation. Whether you are an architect, specifier, or conservation officer undertaking our RIBA-accredited CPD, a homeowner or professional wanting to learn more from our knowledge hub, or a budding apprentice, we hope to inform, inspire, and instruct your next project.