This is the start of blogs by Jamie Ward Course Leader at Warwickshire College, the first offerings will be about my start in the furniture industry and in particular my university days.
After 9 years working in the joinery industry I decided to give up my job, sell my house and go to university. No-one in my family had been to uni and I was not close to anyone who had. So I felt it right to research my next home and degree course, but how? In the UK we have an organisation called The Universities and Colleges Admissions Services back in 1995, when I was researching, this was just a very thick book with lists of colleges and universities and the courses they offered. I ran my finger through this directory looking at courses, facilities and some imagination of what these places of learning might be like.
I whittled the list down to 3 colleges that offered furniture making, Shrewsbury College, London College of Furniture (LCF) and Buckinghamshire College (Bucks College) in High Wycombe. After visiting Bucks College degree show, I instantly knew this was the furniture course for me. Why? well, High Wycombe has a long history of furniture making, that I didn’t know until my research began. Secondly, I was very impressed with the course manager Prof. Philip Hussey, he spent an hour with me showing the degree show and the workshops and facilities, I felt comfortable and it felt right, I do often go on ‘gut feeling’ to make decisions.
So sunny High Wycombe became my home for the next five years! 1996-2001
Here I am on the first course I completed at uni, a HND (Higher National Diploma) or as some say HAVE NO DEGREE. I used this course to ease me back into education and to ‘warm’ me up for the pending degree course. It was such a great way for me to start my training in furniture making.