A Preston teenager and aspiring builder has earned herself a crack at the most prestigious work experience the city currently has to offer.
Grange girl Georgia Greene, 15 is to join the specialist team restoring Preston’s grade two listed war memorial for one day a week until the project is completed early November.
Georgia, a pupil of Corpus Christie Catholic College who studies bricklaying at Preston Vocational Centre, is excited by the opportunity.
“It is such an important monument for Preston and means a great deal to lots of people,” she said.
We learned about the war at school and how millions of people fought and died, some only a bit older than me.
“When I’ve got grand kids I can bring them here and tell them I did some work on it.”
MD of restoration specialists Maysands Bryn Ellis said it was “refreshing” to encounter youngsters like Georgia.
“The war memorial is a stunning piece of craftsmanship and we have exceptionally high standards to meet, and it’s refreshing to see young people keen to learn these skills.
“It is hard graft but rewarding and we’re delighted to help young people on the road to work. And it is, off course, an honour to be working on such a prestigious project.”
Site Manager Dick Wisbey agreed, describing work experience on the £750,000 project as “a rare opportunity”.
“Georgia will get a broad view of what happens on this sort of project, and another side of the industry. It’ll help her decide which way she wants to go, whether to be a bricklayer or a stonemason.
“The majority of the work now is fixing stone, a mason’s job, and so she’s going to get an insight into what we do, and be able to jump in and give the lads a hand.”
Georgia is the fourth student from Preston Vocational Centre to gain experience on the city centre site.
Centre Manager Martin Grayston from Preston Vocational Centre said: “Two of our trainees who worked on the war memorial have already gone on to full time work, and Georgia now has a great chance to improve her skills.”
Martin described Georgia, the only female bricklayer at the Centre, as “a natural”.
“You should see her lay bricks. She’s a natural, and we had no hesitation sending her to work on the war memorial. She will do herself and Preston proud.”
Georgia is confident she can meet the required standard.
“Everything we’ve done so far has been basic, simple walls and stuff like that, and the work going on here (the war memorial site) is very technical for me, yet. But I’ll get there.
“I had to beg to get on the course because I’m a girl and it’s all lads, but I’m better than them. They’re all smacked arsed, going ‘my work’s better than yours’ but it’s not!
“This is a great chance for me and I can’t wait to get started.”