Guest Blog: Let's hear it for the Brickies! - Lyons & Annoot - EH Smith

Guest Blog: Let’s hear it for the Brickies! – Lyons & Annoot

EH Smith, one of our key Supply Chain Partners, asked “What does brickwork mean to us?” – and the answer was simple. It means people. People working in a trade that they love, that they are skilled at doing, that they are highly trained to do, and that people have been practicing for many centuries. We decided our youngest and oldest members of staff would be the right people to give their comments on what brick means to them….

20 February 2020

My name is Joshua Mayes and I am a first year Brickwork Standards Apprentice with Lyons & Annoot. I am 17 years old and new to the industry.

Why did I choose the Construction Industry, and Brickwork to be more precise? – When leaving school I wasn’t sure what to do so I decided to take a Multi Skills Construction course at Building Crafts College, and as part of this course Brickwork was an element of the study.

Brickwork really grabbed me, and I immediately enjoyed working with bricks and how they looked after we finished laying them in college. I made my decision then that Brickwork is what I really want to do. I remember walking home one day and saw a spiral chimney in brick on the roof of a building- it was amazing and I knew there and then that this is something I would love to be able to do.

I really admire the skilled Bricklayers that I work with and I cannot wait until I am as skilful as them and I can become part of the history of the London Construction fabric. To build with brick is a skill that is so much more visible than many other trades – it is the first thing you see as you look at a Building. The entire history of our buildings in our major cities are built from this fantastic product, and it is unbelievable to see how a small rectangular lump of clay when put together can be shaped and designed in a lot of different colours.

I cannot wait to look at buildings that I have worked on and my brickwork is part of the skyline.

 

I am Morris Lyons and I am the Chairman and a Founding Director of Lyons & Annoot Ltd. Lyons & Annoot have been in the Brickwork Industry as a Specialist Trade Contractor since 1972, and are proud of the fact that we have maintained a consistent presence in this time with the only major change being the formation of us as a limited company in 1986, as we had been trading as a Partnership up to that time.

I always knew that I wanted to be in Construction and enrolled in a Pre-Apprenticeship Course which was held every evening after school for a year. We did 6 weeks of each trade and it was Brickwork that really grabbed my attention and I decided then this was the side of Construction that I wanted to be involved in.

I couldn’t see myself getting the same enjoyment from any other element of construction than what I did from Brickwork. Like young Josh’s comments, Brickwork grabbed hold of me rather than me brickwork- a finished panel that was beautifully done and with changes in the brick or a bond how the differences were immense. When I first started I wanted to build a Gable End – this was technically difficult and to see a good tradesmen work on this aspect was an art – I wanted to be able to do that. A good tradesman makes it look easy and I am lucky to have worked with many of the best Tradesmen over my last 50 plus years in the Industry.

I think Bricks are here to stay and seem to currently be having a renaissance. Architects and Building Owners see beauty of a Brickwork Elevation rather than a horrible Cladding Panel or Steel and Glass and realise that this is what London and our Major Cities need to remain as – this is the beauty and history of the city. A change in colour of a brick, a change in bond, or a change in mortar or detail can dramatically affect an elevation of brickwork and all installed by a highly skilled Tradesman.

We have tenders currently in on 40 story Brick Buildings outside London- this is fantastic and shows how bricks can be used in all circumstances. As we now go through greater concentration on Health & Safety on Building Sites, Environmental Concerns we need to make sure manufacturers and bricklayers are all on board and push for our industry bettering the environment in which we live in.

We have done many projects over our long existence, and will do plenty more of beautiful projects as the years and the industry develop but the one I am most proud of in recent years is 20 Grosvenor Square (Pictured above and on our Case Studies page) which we did for Multiplex and the overall client Finchatton. A stunning brickwork and stonework development in Mayfair adding to the 3 hundred year old Grosvenor Square.

We are also lucky to be working on the opposite side of the Square for Lodha currently on One Grosvenor Square- and to work on these Squares which demand the highest quality is a great feeling. When I walk past 20 Grosvenor Square now and know what effort we put into it as Bricklayers, as Designers and as a team it is one that I wish I had been on the trowel and know that my handywork has gone into this which will be here for years to come.

 

By Lyons & Annoot Ltd.