Merlane Trophy 2024

Merlane Trophy 2024: North Notts College Places Third

9 May 2024

Apprentice Matt Lee managed to secure third place in the 45th Merlane Trophy Carpentry Competition at Sheffield College, marking North Notts College’s debut appearance. Organised by the Institute of Carpenters, 27 participants from various colleges across the region went head-to-head in a one-day competition.

Established in 1890, the Institute of Carpenters is a prestigious professional membership organisation dedicated to upholding the traditions of woodworking craftsmanship. It provides a supportive community for professionals in the trade, such as furniture makers, cabinet makers, boat builders, shop fitters, woodcarvers, and turners. With a focus on both skill and conduct, the institute helps members achieve the highest standards, ensuring this historic craft’s continued excellence for future generations.

During the competition, each entrant was tasked with creating the same design within four hours. Expert judges then evaluated the assignments based on quality and timekeeping. Despite the pressure of exam conditions, Matt Lee completed the competition within the allotted time frame. Second-year Diploma Joinery student Alfie Waldock also performed admirably, requiring only an additional five minutes to finish.

Mrs Beet, wife of Alan Beet who is a local Nottinghamshire Carpenter, representing the Master Carpenters from the Institute of Carpenters, expressed her delight at North Notts College’s participation, saying;

“It is a pleasure to see our local college, North Notts College, representing the competition. I cannot recall them ever entering the Merlane Trophy Carpentry Competition before.”

Generous donations from local companies, including Howdens, Tilgear, and Jeswons offered prizes totalling £2,500. Prizes ranged from Makita and Paslode cordless nail guns to 18v drills and multi-saws. Participants also received a certificate and free membership to the Institute of Carpenters.

After 45 minutes of consultation and marking, certificates of participation were awarded to every entrant by the Institute of Carpenters. A prize-giving ceremony followed, with Matt Lee securing third place for North Notts College.

The final results were as follows:

1st Place: Kai Kryger, Derby College

2nd Place: Coby Harvey, Sheffield College

3rd Place: Matthew Lee, North Notts College

Matt’s prizes included two 18v Makita battery drills, an 18v Makita multi-tool, and a Stanley tool tote filled with joinery hand tools valued at approximately £100. In a kind gesture, Matt gifted his Stanley tool tote complete with all the joinery hand tools to his fellow student, Alfie Waldock.

Richard Drury, Apprenticeship Skills Tutor said;

This has been a monumental step into a true life skill scenario for Alfie and Matt. To turn up at 7.30am, on time, in a different environment, at a different college, meeting/competing against fellow trainee/apprentice joiners. This can give the learners immense confidence into meeting clients, and dealing with complex joinery briefs, under time constraints, to produce a quality product, in a high pressured environment.

On behalf of North Notts College, I am very proud of all the entrants, and they should feel the “job satisfaction buzz”, that all joiners get after producing a quality job. You cannot teach that feeling, it is something you find when your true potential shines through. I am over the moon for Alfie and Matt, putting themselves into this situation, as for Matt’s gesture to gift Alfie, the tool bag with the hand tools from his prizes, shows me that students do care, which does rub of around the College.

Find out more about Carpentry and Joinery course at North Notts College

Merlane Trophy 2024 magazine cover
Merlane Trophy 2024 magazine article
Merlane Trophy 2024
Categories: News