The construction industry is recognised for many things, its creativity, innovation, and depending on the weather, often carried out in a challenging environment and conditions. With so many moving parts, it can be a frustrating industry in which to work. Still, it can be incredibly rewarding as you watch projects come out of the ground and grow into fully functional buildings.
It’s also recognised for its characters and attracts people from all walks of life and educational backgrounds. As a principal contractor, we employ a team of builders. Still, like so many similar companies, we also choose to use sub-contractors for some aspects of the build. Recently, we’ve had the pleasure of working with John Cahill, a bricklayer tasked with the construction of a Design and Build project we were appointed to build. John can most definitely be described as a character. A bricklayer for 47 years, John has now reached the grand young age of 63, though you wouldn’t know it as he still has that cheeky teenager sparkle in his eye and the cheeky humour that goes with it.
Completing his bricklaying apprenticeship at Brooklyn Technical College Perry Barr in 1972, he’s remained in brickwork all of his working life, though he did do a four-year stint in the Navy.
Enjoying the challenge that a Design and Build project throws up, John has worked on a variety of projects in his lifetime. Covering most sectors, he has experienced working in education, large commercial, and community projects. However, as a sector, housing has been by far the biggest employer of John’s skills and its where he has spent the majority of his working life.
Outside of work, John is married and has three grown-up children. On the weekend he loves doing a bit of DIY and having the time to build decorative brickwork projects in the garden. But outside of his family, the thing he loves more than anything else (and you will know this if you ever get a chance to meet him) is Northern Soul dancing. It’s fair to say that John is passionate with a capital “P” about his Northern Soul dancing. Traveling up and down the country you will regularly find him in Sheffield, Kidderminster, Prestatyn, West Yorkshire, in fact, all over the UK, strutting his stuff on the dance floor. Often pulling all-nighters, dancing from 9 pm to 5 am isn’t unusual for John. More recently he took place in the “World Northern Soul dance championships” at Blackpool where he finished in the top 10. When interviewed for this article, it’s all we could do to keep him still, and on his feet with handstands, spins, mid-air splits and backdrops being the norm in Northern Soul; you really can’t keep a good man down.
The good news is that whatever he does on the weekend, it keeps him fit for the graft associated with being a bricklayer during the week. Recently, John helped us with one of our projects and was over the moon when completing the brickwork at Dudley Community Centre. He was recognised not only for his hard work on the project but also for being the bricklayer that laid the first and last bricks on the building, quite an achievement.
When asked about his experience of working for Gravitas Build, he couldn’t praise us enough. In particular, John felt that the site team were great to work with and did everything they could to help him get his job done quickly and efficiently.
I have to say that the site team, Denny and Mick have been great to work with. I would 100% be happy to work with the Gravitas team again.
He was also quick to praise the office staff too. He pointed out that on the odd occasion where he had a query regarded payment or paperwork, it was sorted out “quickly and without any hassle”.
When asked about his top tips, he said:
- Keep the bricks dry
- Level to the face of the bricks
- Don’t panic if things go pear-shaped
- Deal with any mistakes there and then
- Keep a clean site
From the team at Gravitas Build, we’d like to say a big thank you to John for his hard work and hope to see him again on a future project; and thank you for your supplier reviews.
Design and Build Birmingham
Gravitas Build Ltd consists of a team of people with many years of experience across most sectors and disciplines. Our M&E Background gives us a unique introspective as to what makes a building work and and what makes it a comfortable working environment. The melding together of both disciplines, construction and M&E puts us in a unique position to offer our Design and Build Birmingham services to you, and we’d love to hear from you. Feel free to contact us on the number below.
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