Following an upsurge in demand for places at the forthcoming TTA Awards dinner, the organisers have made available extra tables for the event. It is great news that the industry is in such a buoyant mood, as it gears up for the gala evening of the year, leading to strong demand for seats and company tables. Capacity has now been increased for the event, but is once again at a premium. If you have not yet purchased your tickets, then don’t delay – do it today!.
The Awards are to be held on Friday 19th May the Radisson Blu Portman Hotel, Central London.
The demand for tickets reflects the equally high numbers of very high quality entries which have been received for the Awards this year. It looks like many of the categories are going to be tightly contested, so you can be sure of an exciting night!
There is also the promise of great entertainment. This years’ event will have a burlesque theme and the audience can be sure of an evening of first class entertainment, bordering perhaps on the risqué. It certainly looks like it’s going to be a night to remember.
Individual tickets cost £175 + VAT, while tables for ten cost £1,575 + VAT, and additional tables cost £1,400 + VAT.
There are also still sponsorship opportunities available, including Category sponsorships, which are £2,500 per category. This is very good opportunity for the sponsoring company to be associated with success and raise its own brand profile. It includes the opportunity for a company representative to go up on stage to present the Award.
Meanwhile it’s nearly party time and, with the judging complete, the TTA would like to thank all this year’s judges, who have given of their expertise and knowledge, entirely for the benefit of the Awards and the advancement of our industry. They receive no payment for their work.
This year’s judges are: Richard Wallis, Edoardo Matarazzo, Paul Dawtrey, Mark Pears, JP Kennedy, Ian Crowther, Paul Luff, Ian Kershaw, David Rowley, Bob Howard MBE, Joe Simpson and Brian Newell.
Also many thanks to this year’s Gold sponsors: Ardex, BAL, Bellota, Impey Showers, Norcros Adhesives and Tilemaster Adhesives.
Finally, TTA members should be aware that the Annual General Meeting of the Association will take place at 5pm in the Berkeley Suite of The Radisson Blu Portman Hotel on 19th May. The chairman and board invite all TTA members to attend.
Paying tribute to the to the unsung heroes of the UK tiling industry
Independent fixers are the backbone of our industry. Their commitment, skill, creativity and collective experience is what drives our industry forward. Without them, no tile would be laid and no joint grouted.
They are the vital link in bringing the new products of our industry - whether tiles or ancillaries - to the end-customer. They implement and bring to reality the dreams of both designers and consumers.
Here we pay tribute to a handful of the best fixers currently working in the UK. Individual fixers are now joining the TTA in significant numbers, because of the benefits that membership can bring to them and their businesses. The growing authority of the TTA amongst independent fixers has been reflected in the number of nominations received this year for Fixer of the Year.
The following are the fixers who have been shortlisted for the top award this year.
Manchester-based tiling professional Andy Carroll has worked on the tools for 18 years. Andy’s career started as an apprentice and he went on to complete an NVQ Level 2 in Wall and Floor Tiling. In 1999 Andy started his own tiling business, which has been successfully trading in the Manchester and North West area, completing over 2000 projects to date. Andrew Carroll (junior) joined the business in 2011 and has since been learning and perfecting the trade under the guidance of his father. Andy (senior) is as passionate about developing the next generation, as he is his own tiling work.
Andy’s work includes domestic and commercial contracts for clients such as Costa, Casino 235 and Eastwood Building Services. Andy’s satisfaction comes from providing customers with a professional, high quality, friendly and reliable service. He strives to provide the highest quality workmanship, outstanding customer service and reliability from start to finish.
Nigel Davidson began tiling part time, initially for family and friends, whilst working as a sales representative. He says this experience taught him the importance of listening very carefully to customers. From the outset he has been determined to deliver high quality work - specialising in the perfect finish being the motto of the business. He enjoys his work, and job satisfaction is extremely important to him.
Interestingly he developed a lot of his understanding from the experience of completing his own self-build project. This enabled him to develop a broad understanding of structural issues and the coordination with other trades, all of which he still takes into consideration when designing tiling projects.
He became a full time tile fixer in 2005 when he started trading as Davidson Tiling. His focus is on clients who appreciate quality, and he believes his business has a reputation for high quality workmanship.
As a self-taught fixer, Dan Kyle has major achievements to his credit. From a young enthusiast, Dan has managed to develop his business into one capable of winning major contracts for the biggest clients.
Dan started working at the age of 14 at weekends for a local tiler. His next position was with a company which diversified into retail work, as well as domestic, giving Dan the opportunity to learn new skills.
Over the following 6 to 7 years, it became clear that tiling was to be Dan’s chosen vocation and he took the initiative to attend various adhesive courses and also gained an NVQ Level 3 in tiling.
In 2005 he made the decision to go self-employed and set up Dan Kyle Tiling Solutions. As well as getting to grips with all that is involved with running a small business, Dan also continued to develop his tiling skills and to tackle increasingly ambitious jobs.
Sharon Taylor turned adversity into an opportunity to kickstart her career. Following redundancy in 2007, she decided to retrain in wall and floor tiling and Viva Tiling was born. A couple of months after finishing the course she went on to do the Bisazza Mosaic Course ran by STC which introduced her to mosaics. She also did an Advanced Bisazza course in Italy, which convinced her that she wanted to work with mosaics, and then a Victorian Geometric tiling course, followed by an NVQ Level 2 qualification in wall and floor tiling.
Eventually a leisure and wellness contractor looking for a mosaic installer for a steam room gave Sharon the work and enabled her to find her niche. Her first steam room consisted of four different mosaics and a curved vaulted ceiling (groin vault). She has since developed a reputation for working on steam rooms, ice fountains, spa baths, curved seating and shower units, basically any surface that requires mosaics.
TTA seeks industry views on import tariff duties
Paul Doran, training manager for the Worldskills UK Squad, is now looking for further sponsorship to take the Squad through to the finals in Abu Dhabi in October.
The Squad have achieved minimum international benchmark standards in technical skills for wall and floor tiling. They managed this as a result of a lot of hard work by all concerned and the vital sponsorship received from TTA members.
Should one of the Wall and Floor Tiling trainees be successful in being selected for the UK Squad to proceed to the Abu Dhabi competitions, additional sponsorship will be required. The entire Squad and the TTA are very grateful to Schlüter, who provided the original sponsorship budget, which has enabled the Squad to achieve what it has so far.
To take the UK Squad on to the next stage now requires a further injection of £5,000 - £7,000. Any potential sponsors interested in finding out more should contact the TTA.
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