Fifty years ago, teenager Tim Dummer began an apprenticeship as a general builder on the Cowdray Estate in Midhurst.
Today he remains a highly valued member of the estate’s Works Department – the team responsible for maintaining and refurbishing many of the properties on the 16,500-acre site. “We maintain all the houses on the estate – repairing brickwork and stonework, building new walls and renovating houses,” the 66-year old explains.
Headed up by David Wyatt, Tim’s 27-strong team works on reactive maintenance, planned maintenance and refurbishments and compliance work for the estate. Tim currently undertakes most of the estate’s plastering and lime rendering, with the qualified bricklayer also working on groundworks, patios, foundations and drainage. Technological advances have allowed the Works Department to do much more work than it was previously able to do. “Going back 50 years, obviously, there weren’t mobile phones, and we had very limited vehicles,” he explains. “Now we’ve got a lot more vehicles for each individual trade.”
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