Darlington Library

He’s nailed it!

Today I am shining a spotlight on Colin Alsop from our team of joiners - although he doesn’t need it as he seems to shine all by himself. 😊

Colin came to my attention a few months ago when I was taking a look at the installation of our new toilet facilities.

When designing and creating new spaces within our Grade II listed building, it was imperative that these updated facilities looked in-keeping with the original build. We wanted a quality finish which complimented the heritage of the space. Colin was certainly the right man for the job! He smiles as he tells me that whilst working, he would ask himself, “Would Edward Pease have given me the job back then?” I can confidently say that he would have.

One thing that sets 52 year old Colin apart is that he has worked for the council throughout his career, having been taken on in 1986 as a joiner through the Youth Training Scheme. He laughs as he tells me that he has probably fitted each council house with new bathrooms and kitchens twice over in the 22 years he spent working on Internal Planned Maintenance for Darlington Borough Council. It is evident that he thoroughly enjoys his job and the people he works with.

When I asked how he felt about working on our Library refurbishment he tells me that he was absolutely delighted. Sought out for his skill, he was brought on to the project to independently work on the oak joinery which is a standout feature of our beautiful building. It is clear to anyone who sees Colin’s work that he is an incredibly skilled carpenter. The areas where we have fitted new skirting boards, he has taken the 10 inch high, inch and a quarter deep solid oak, and cut this using a handsaw; then screwed, plugged, and pelleted, and the finish is seamless.

He has loved using the traditional methods of carpentry and joinery required on our heritage-led refurbishment, and he takes a huge amount of pride in his work. I have been absolutely delighted with the finish he has created and am really looking forward to sharing it with our customers when we reopen.

When chatting to Colin his passion for our library and his craft is evident. In fact, it was our library he used many years ago when studying for his Carpentry and Joinery qualification. He tells me that the librarians were quite stern back then, but now, he says it feels a lot warmer and more relaxed, and he’s really looking forward to people being able to use and enjoy it again.

I too am looking forward to that day…. But I’ll also be sad to see Colin go on to his next job.

Suzy | Library Manager

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