So the entries are all in and the judging process is complete. Now we await the big Awards night on 12th April to find out who are this year’s TTA Award winners.
It’s going to be a great evening, recognising achievement in our industry, complete with superb entertainment and excellent networking opportunities. You really wouldn’t want to miss it. The good news is that there are still places available for the evening. However, if history repeats itself, the evening will sell out, so you are advised not to delay.
Individual tickets are £175 +VAT, with a table of 10 at £1,575 +VAT. A second table of 10 is available at a discounted rate of £1400 + VAT. For more detailed information on the venue – The Hilton Birmingham Metropole – please head over to the TTA Awards website at www.ttaawards.com. To book places please email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0300 365 8453.
Remember to look out for the next issue of TSJ, to be published just after the Awards, which will carry full details of all the Award winners in all 17 categories. The TTA team are also active on social media in the build-up to the Awards and on the night itself, so if you can’t make it, be sure to keep an eye on the TTA Awards Facebook and Twitter feeds for all the latest news.
This year saw a big extension of the public vote into all Award categories. So very many thanks to everyone who took part in that.
Many thanks also to our highly capable panel of judges – and special thanks, of course, to our record number of Gold sponsors this year – Banks & Lloyd, Jackoboard, Mapei, Norcros Adhesives, Shackerley (Holdings) Group Ltd., Tilemaster Adhesives, Topps Tiles, Trimline Group, UltraTileFix, Walls and Floors and Warmup. Lithofin is a Silver sponsor.
If you’re a fixer, you need to visit The Tiling Show
The Tiling Show, to be held on Friday 12th April at The Hilton Birmingham Metropole, is now virtually sold-out, guaranteeing a worthwhile visit for everyone in the tiling industry. Confirmed exhibitors include Aquacut, Ardex, BAL, Banks & Lloyd, Fila, House of Mosaics, Intceram, Jackoboard, Larsen Building Products, Lithofin, Mapei, MRDS, N&C, Norcros Adhesives, Palace Chemicals/Laticrete, Parkside Tiles, Polyfab Coatings, Saint-Gobain Weber, Scarfato Ceramiche, Schlüter Systems, Shackerley, Smart Marketing Works, STS Ltd, Tilemaster Adhesives, Trimline Group, Trimtraders, TTA, UltraTileFix, Verona Stone, Walls and Floors, Warmup, and Weber.
For fixers there is a special incentive this year. Every fixer who attends will get a goodie bag, and five of these goodie bags will contain a Golden Ticket. Winners who are already TTA members will be entitled to six months off their 2020 TTA membership. Winners who are not yet members will get six months free membership for the current year.
Every visitor to the Show will get to see top brands, as well as the latest product innovations from leading manufacturers and distributors, product demonstrations and CPD presentations.
The Tiling Show is open from 10am to 4pm, and is sponsored by Intceram: global sourcing of tiles, stone and glass.
With its central location, the Tiling Show is easy to visit, whether travelling by road, train or air. Further details can be found on the dedicated Show website at www.thetilingshow.org.uk, where there are also facilities for registering online.
Start your TTA Awards day with a round of golf at The Forest of Arden Golf Club
If a round of golf appeals to you – and why wouldn’t it? – then you need to be at The Arden Championship Course at The Forest of Arden Golf & Country Club on 12th April. First Tee off is at 9:42am, preceded from 8:30am by tea, coffee, and bacon butties.
The Golf Day will, as usual, be an excellent opportunity to meet up with industry colleagues for 18 holes of golf ahead of the evening’s festivities. Over the years the Arden Championship Course has staged seven English Opens and five British Masters. Winners have included Colin Montgomery, Thomas Bjorn, and Darren Clarke. The good news is that it is just a few miles away from the TTA Awards venue.
There will be prizes for Nearest to the Pin and Longest Drive, as well as individual prizes and the famous TTA Trophy.
Organiser Richard Friebe says: “The TTA Golf Day is always a really fun event, with a good slice of competitiveness thrown in as well. We’re sure that you’ll enjoy it and I look forward to welcoming as many players as possible this year. For those who missed out last year, don’t miss out again!!”
Email email@example.com to book places for the golf day, which are excellent value at £70 per person (incl VAT). Places are limited, so book early to guarantee your spot.
Meet our top fixers
The Tile Fixer of the Year Award is always one of the most eagerly anticipated of the Award categories. In this issue we profile the independent fixers who have been shortlisted for the Tile Fixer of the Year Award.
Brian Jeffery: RAK Ceramics
Brian has worked for RAK Ceramics for over 12 years. He has experience of all types of tiling work; everything from showrooms to exhibition stands and tiling in offices.
He learned on the job from another employee at RAK and has built up his skills over the years in all types of tiling and designs. Brian has also gained experience of working with large format slabs to build desks and bathrooms. Brian’s talent has been recognised by RAK worldwide and he is the best tiler RAK have from anywhere in the world.
Carlos Albuquerque: DMC Contracts Ltd
Carlos began his career as a trainee tiler in Portugal over twenty years ago, learning the trade in ceramics, terrazzo, mosaics and marble on floors, walls and staircases. Carlos came to England and started work with DMC in 2007.
His natural talent enabled him to become one of DMC’s senior tilers, with his skills in high demand, not just amongst the DMC project management team, but also with clients who know of his abilities and the quality of his work. Indeed, he has been specifically requested by clients on several projects. Carlos has carried out tiling works on some of DMC’s most prestigious projects, within both the infrastructure and commercial sectors.
Lee Bird, Operations Director for DMC Contracts Limited, says of Carlos: “When Carlos came over to England, he was recommended by a fellow Portuguese tiler. Once assessed by our supervisors, it became apparent very quickly that Carlos was an operative at the very top of the tiling industry. There is no tiling that Carlos cannot do, no problem he cannot solve, his eye for detail never ceases to amaze, we can put him on any job and he always delivers to programme and quality expected from both DMC and our clients.”
Carlos is Level 2 NVQ wall and floor tiling accredited, enabling him to hold a skilled CSCS card. In addition, he holds the SSTS card enabling him to supervise our major projects and has both the ICI and LU passes to work on Network Rail and the London Underground. He is also an SPC, which is a certificate required to supervise London Underground Projects.
Carlos’ portfolio features Tottenham Court Road Station for Taylor Woodrow BAM Nuttall, and Embankment, Waterloo, Temple, Liverpool St, Vauxhall, Blackhorse Rd and Wembley Park stations, all for London Underground.
Steve Wagstaff: Pro Tilers UK Wall & Floor Ltd
Steve started his career in tiling 25 years ago, working for a local tiler, largely on domestic projects. In 2000, he set up Pro-Tile UK Ltd and five years ago the firm was rebranded Pro-Tilers UK Wall & Floor Ltd. Steve jointly owns the business with Mark Callan and they have three employees and 12 sub-contractors in regular employment. They work mainly on high-end projects, from intricate domestic to contract and monument/heritage installations.
Steve has a passion for detail and, to date, has never advertised his services. Word-of-mouth recommendations are testimony to his exceptional skill and commitment.
Mark Ellis from Tilemaster Adhesives says: “I remember the first time I met Steve Wagstaff on site, on a project in Preston. I’d heard a lot about him before meeting him and was nervous about our first meeting initially. I needn’t have been. Who I met was a thoroughly nice person who was willing to listen. A true expert in his industry and field, but with the grounded nature to know that anyone can teach anybody something new, Steve is always willing to learn and pass on knowledge to the people he works with.
“I have also witnessed him on site where problems had arisen, and whilst everyone around begins to panic due to time frames and work-load, Steve had the presence, ability and respect of everyone to stop the panic dead, give an immediate solution and maintain the fact that despite this setback and extra work load, he and his team would still complete the project to the timescale, which they did.
“Steve continues to push the boundaries with the projects he works on, researching methods and techniques from around the world to better his abilities, experience and ultimately the end result for the customer. Steve is helping to push the tile industry forward in the UK, by being confident in his and his team’s ability to install products in certain ways or certain areas for the first time, setting himself apart from other installers in his field.”
More good reasons to be a TTA member
With the launch of three new business services for TTA members at the start of the year, there are more good reasons than ever to be a TTA member. TTA’s insurance broker, Cobra, is now offering an exclusive insurance product for members. The Insurance Backed Guarantee enables contractors to offer a high level of reassurance to their customers. Most contractors guarantee their work for a fixed period of time, whether it is two years, five years or ten years.
The Insurance Backed Guarantee enables the insured member to offer that guarantee to cover circumstances in which he or she might no longer be trading. The benefits of the Insurance Backed Guarantee have to be included in the price that the fixer charges the customer; they cannot be sold as ‘add-ons’.
The second service is TTA Business Shield, which has been launched via TTA member Stallard Kane Associates, specialists in health and safety, training and HR issues. TTA members can access unlimited health and safety advice, plus unlimited HR/employment law advice.
The Business Shield also incorporates a free ‘Health Check’. Through this all TTA members can benefit from a two-hour compliance health check, completely free of charge.
Finally TTA has introduced a Primary Authority Partnership scheme, which enables members to gain exclusive access to regulatory advice for the tiling sector from Trading Standards.
TTA has formed a partnership with Staffordshire County Council and Powys County Council, who now become the Primary Authority for tiling. The scheme will only be available to TTA members, and will enable them to obtain assured advice provided by competent officers with the relevant skills and experience in product safety, fair trading and weights & measures. Early access to regulatory advice will enable member businesses to ensure their work is compliant at all times.
All TTA members will be eligible to join the scheme, enabling them to take advantage of the benefits on offer, including being able to provide a strong level of reassurance to customers regarding trading standards issues.
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