South Shields stone mason wins accolade while working on restoration of Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland

An apprentice stone mason from South Tyneside has been named as one the best in the business.
Tyler WallaceTyler Wallace
Tyler Wallace

Tyler Wallace, from South Shields, won the Trade Apprentice of the Year category at the Constructing Excellence North East G4C awards.

Tyler served his apprenticeship with Historic Property Restoration (HPR) Ltd – working on the restoration of Holy Trinity Church in Sunderland.

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He joined HPR in 2019 on an apprenticeship run in partnership with the Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), working on the conservation and restoration of the Grade I-listed church – Sunderland’s original parish church in the East End of the city.

Holy Trinity Church in the East End.Holy Trinity Church in the East End.
Holy Trinity Church in the East End.

As a result of his drive, commitment and growing skills, Tyler is now a permanent employee with HPR and has recently begun specialist stone masonry training at York College.

Kevin Dunn, contracts manager at the firm, said: “Tyler was always to be found with the stone masons on site, learning from their experience and practising at home so that he was soon able to work on the church tower.

"This is an award he very much deserves. The resilience of the heritage construction sector relies on us being able to pass our skills on to the next generation, and with young people like Tyler joining the trade the future is in safe hands.”

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Tyler’s bosses say his can-do attitude, earning him the nickname ‘Tyler the Tank’ for his work ethic and has demonstrated leadership qualities - taking younger trainees under his wing, and even returning to his past training provider to demonstrate heritage craft skills to tutors and learners.

His apprenticeship was funded by All Churches Trust as part of the Seventeen Nineteen Craft Skills programme, a training project linked with the restoration of Holy Trinity as part of the £4.3million restoration project at the historic building.

Andrew Bass, grants officer for the Trust, said: “We were delighted to hear that Tyler won this prestigious award and proud that our funding of his apprenticeship has given him this wonderful opportunity.

"Having had the pleasure of meeting Tyler, I have seen how hard-working he is and it is fantastic news for all of us involve in the project to see that his effort, enthusiasm and dedication has been recognised.”