A Week In The Life Of A Carpentry & Joinery Trainee

This piece was written by Victoria, HES Historic Joinery Trainee at Lincoln Cathedral from September 2018 – 2019

Victoria started her placement at Lincoln Cathedral in the summer of 2018. She has been working towards achieving an NVQ Level 2 in Joinery and has had the opportunity to work on lots of different aspects of both the cathedral itself and its surrounding properties. Read on to find out more!

Working at the cathedral doesn’t always mean working on the building itself. The cathedral estate consists of many properties and the works department plays a big role in renovating and maintaining the estate. One day you could be up in the roof building access walkways or repairing doors and another day you will be in the properties repairing floors or fitting kitchens.









This floor was in one of the Vicars Court properties and the newer floor joists needed to be replaced as they were not doing their job. Removing them was a frustrating task as they were nailed through from underneath, so some creative cutting was required so as not to damage the celling below.

Once removed we were able to take a level across using string lines and measuring down to get the depth of the new joists and also mark any areas that needed to be notched over existing features.

Most of the work carried out on site is done using hand tools with the occasional exception and all repairs are completed with conservation of original material in mind so are not always as simple as it would seem.










Because of the nature of fitting something new to something old, a lot of tweaking and troubleshooting was required in order to get the new joists to fit. It was a slow process and required care to ensure that everything fitted right.

The original joists needed to be removed in order to fit the new joists in, but as they were not fixed to anything anymore and everything was documented before work began, this was a simple task.

The end result with the original floor joists in-between the new ones providing the support for the floorboards was very satisfying to see.

This project was fun and interesting to do as I had not done anything like this before and it took a lot more thinking and troubleshooting than initially realised. I was lucky to be working with a talented team of joiners and am greatly satisfied with my contribution to the project.