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West Suffolk College lecturer receives Master Certificate in joinery from Lord Mayor of London

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A West Suffolk College lecturer has been presented with a prestigious award.

Brian Tunbridge, 41, was handed the Master Certificate in joinery by the Lord Mayor of London in a ceremony on Monday.

Currently, there are only 16 people nationally who have been granted the accolade, which recognises ‘excellence in the art, craft, science and practice of carpentry and joinery.’

Brian Tunbridge picking up his prestigious award
Brian Tunbridge picking up his prestigious award

The award is sponsored by The Institute of Carpenters, The City and Guilds of London Institute, The Worshipful Company of Carpenters and The Worshipful Company of Joiners and Ceilers.

Mr Tunbridge, who lives near Stowmarket, has been working as a lecturer at the college for 18 years.

He said: “This is the pinnacle of my career”, before adding that he hopes to see his students pick up an award in future.

The Master Certificate in joinery crowns decades of hard work by Mr Tunbridge, which began with an interest as a small child.

He explained that he ‘always enjoyed making things’ for as long as he could remember and an apprenticeship in carpentry in 1995 helped his path into the profession.

Once his apprenticeship was complete, he was able to secure a position as technician at the college, before becoming a lecturer and then course director.

Mr Tunbridge was taught carpentry at West Suffolk College as a student, and credits his lecturers with inspiring him to go into teaching.

The college’s involvement with the Master Certificate scheme extends to it having been granted college status membership of The Institute of Carpenters.

This entitles students who pass a test to become a student member of the institute, which is a highly sought after qualification in the field.

Students who wish to eventually emulate Mr Tunbridge’s success in the Master Certificate scheme must reach the levels of craftsman and journeyman in their career before they can be considered for the elite category of master.

Debbie Coomes, Executive Director at West Suffolk College, congratulated Mr Tunbridge, describing the award as ‘testament to his craftsmanship, persistence and tenacity.’

She added: “Brian really has succeeded in doing something truly remarkable and should feel very proud.”

For more about West Suffolk College, read here.