I left school in 1990 and immediately began a YTS Plastering apprenticeship with Robert Cook & Sons in Kemptown, Brighton.

At the time, they were the largest and most renowned plastering firm in Brighton. They took on all types of plastering & rendering work, but also specialised in cornice work & exterior mouldings.

I spent a lot of time with the older plasterers, working on exterior moulding and rendering jobs around Sussex square, Chichester terrace, Brunswick square, Adelaide crescent, Roedean girls school and the Royal Pavilion.

Most of this time was spent with an old master plasterer called Lawrie Gandy and his labourer Les Playne.

At the same time, I attended Lewes tertiary college and trained as a plasterer. After three years I achieved a City & Guilds qualification in plastering.

Soon after, Lewes college stopped training plasterers & bricklayers due to cutbacks.

In 1993, myself and another apprentice plasterer were laid off due to the recession.

I became self-employed and formed Bell-Plastering. I trained two of my own apprentices and together we carried out plastering & rendering work throughout Sussex.

In 2003 I began training as a Damp-proofer and became a Sovereign approved contractor. All work had to be done in accordance with their specification and all my early work had to be verified before they would allow me to carry their name.

I have since been on many damp related training courses and seminars, learning new skills and keeping up to date with the latest products on the market.

I trained a third apprentice, who achieved his NVQ in the plastering trade in 2015.

I still carry out Cornice and exterior Moulding work that I learnt on my early apprenticeship in 1990.

Thanks for reading,

Bill Bell

Lawrie Gandy (Master Plasterer)

Lewes Tertiary College

First van 1995

Rendering at the Beachcomber pub, Seaford 1994

First signboard 1995

Josh Spicer with his NVQ (2015)