In July 2016, Bagnalls were thrilled to receive an email from the other side of the world. An ex-Bagnalls apprentice, now living in Australia, sent us a thank you message for starting him off on his painting and decorating career path. Graham Dodd started his apprenticeship in the North West office, in 1964, at the tender age of 15.
What started off as a simple email led to a recent visit to our Ellesmere Port office, where Graham and his wife Kath, took time out of their holiday back to England to rekindle old memories.
The stories of projects past were really interesting, including the tale of how he met his wife Kath, when she was only 17 and working at the Prudential in Chester. 18-year-old Graham was doing some decorating there for Bagnalls with fellow colleague John Poole.
Graham served his apprenticeship working at Associated Octel, Shell, British Home Stores, the Red Cat in Greasby and Vauxhalls. He clearly remembers being sent to Peterborough to receive training in scaffolding, metal spraying and blasting.
It was following a holiday to Australia in 1983, that he decided to apply for a visa and live in Brisbane. When he first emigrated he worked for a couple of local painting contractors to learn how things were run differently to the UK, before he and his partner opened their own business. He had his own business painting new housing and show homes for 26 years and closed it last Christmas after serving over fifty years in the painting and decorating industry.
It was when he was tidying up some paperwork in his office in Brisbane, Australia, that he came across his Deeds of Apprenticeship and thought his story may be an inspiration for the young apprentices just starting out in their careers.
We think Graham’s story is an inspiration and testament to the benefits of starting life as an Apprentice. Graham was proud that Bagnalls are still committed to developing apprenticeships half a century later!
Pictured left to right, Joyce Rossington (Bagnalls), Grahm Dodd, Kath Dodd, Steve Bethell (Bagnalls)
Written by Carey Inman-Harrison