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College’s student builders help renovate Bromley Little Theatre

PUBLISHED: 14:51 16 March 2019

Getting to know the drill. Photo: LSEC

Getting to know the drill. Photo: LSEC

Archant

There no quicker way to learn a trade that to get out there and do it, and that’s just what a group of students from London South East Colleges has done.

Students are given a power tools lesson.  Photo: LSECStudents are given a power tools lesson. Photo: LSEC

The much needed work at the Bromley Little Theatre got under way helped by a group of budding bricklayers and carpenters from the college’s Bromley Campus.

The team was hand-picked to take part in the project lasting around a month of hard graft and commitment.

The six students and their new boss Alan Dalton, a professional builder and full-time lead mentor for Volunteer It Yourself, set about clearing damaged plaster, brickwork and old floorboards, and putting into position sturdy timber frames ready for new walls and floors to be installed.

The college said VIY combines volunteering and DIY by challenging young people to learn a trade and building skills, on the job, by helping to renovate and repair community buildings.

The project to give the old theatre a makeover is the culmination of three months of planning and co-operation between the college’s work experience team, VIY and the theatre’s board of trustees.

Of course, this is the real world now with real consequences, so before anything started, Alan gave the students a site induction and a full day of power tool tuition on top of health and safety training at the college.

Alan said: “The guys have started eagerly and we are nicely on schedule to convert the theatre’s lower floor into swish new changing rooms and wardrobe areas. This will entail a number of different disciplines including carpentry, bricklaying, plastering, dry lining and re-pointing.”

Carpentry student Ellis Ward, 17, said: “I started my level 1 course last September and I’m already working on a real site project. This is pretty massive to me and I’m very proud to be a member of this team.”

And Keith Jeremiah, chairman of the theatre’s board of trustees, added: “The building itself was built c1870s and is a former Co-op bakery. It has been used as a theatre since around 1938 and served the community very well, including through a very difficult period during thr Second World War.”

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