Meet the South Shields teenager who is starring in TV show with presenter Guy Martin
A South Shields teenager got to work alongside petrolhead TV presenter Guy Martin when he came to Tyneside to film his new documentary.
Seventeen-year-old Callum Robinson got to meet the former motorbike racer and TV star while working on a restoration project at Newcastle's City Pool and Turkish Baths.
The teenager, who is undergoing a construction course with crime reduction charity NACRO in Newcastle, was one of a group of construction students and mentors from Volunteer it Yourself (VIY).
The project combines volunteering and DIY to challenge young people to learn trades and building skills on the job by helping to renovate and repair community buildings.
Guy, a British motorcycle racer turned presenter, swapped grease for grout and joined the group as part of his new Channel 4 documentary, Guy Martin: Building Britain.
The new series, available now on Catch Up, explores the UK construction skills shortage and episode two sees Guy visit the historic Grade II listed building to find out about the Â£5m redevelopment taking place.
During his visit, Guy learned how to tile in what will soon be the new café bistro and tried his hand at some specialist restoration skills.
He said: “I’ve done a bit of bricklaying in the past but I’m definitely not a tiler.
"I’ve got a load of tiling that needs done at home and I’m too tight to pay someone to do it, but I now know how to do it myself."
He added: “There are so few kids wanting to get into traditional skilled trades, but the kids I’ve been working with today have been keen as mustard and that’s what it’s about, you’ve got to be keen and want to learn."
The pool and Turkish baths – which holds fond memories for many people – opened in 1928 and closed to the public in April 2013.
The building will be given a new lease of life following a Â£5m refurbishment by Fusion Lifestyle, a sports and leisure management organisation and registered charity.
When the work is complete, the venue will feature a public pool and Turkish baths, fitness suites, exercise studios, a spa with treatment rooms and a café bistro.
Anthony Cawley, operations director at Fusion Lifestyle, said: “Throughout the redevelopment of Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths, we’re giving young people the opportunity to get involved with hands-on construction work, with the hope they’ll learn new skills and choose a career in the industry.
“It’s great the UK construction skills shortage is being highlighted on a national stage in documentaries like Building Britain. And we’re happy to play our part in addressing the skills gap.
“The documentary gives members of the public a behind the scenes look at the specialist restoration works going on in the building.
"We can’t wait for the project to be finished and for people to see it first-hand.
“Guy’s visit proves just how important the redevelopment of Newcastle City Pool and Turkish Baths really is.”
Guy added: “It’s massively important that firms like Fusion step in and save these buildings.
“Imagine if it was sold to a housing developer and turned into posh flats in the middle of Newcastle, what a waste and a shame that would have been.
“It’s great that it’s been done up in the original theme of the building, they’re keeping the swimming pool and tuning that into a gym, it’ll be great!”
Episode two of Guy Martin: Building Britain is available to watch now on Channel 4 Catch Up.