So on the 6th of October 2014 I joined the Select first Lifting Technician apprenticeship.
This was a huge step for me I had spent my previous working life working in sales, starting in mobile phones, to advertising eventually ending up in recruitment. Sales was something I started doing while I was at university and it was something I couldn’t shake off, I was pigeon holed nobody would offer me a job doing something else because I was just viewed as a sales person with no transferable skills! I tried for years to reinvent myself to no avail.
I never dreamed of being a crane operator or ever imagined I could do something like that. My apprenticeship provided me with so much support and training I felt like the luckiest person in the world, actually able to reboot her life into a better place. I learned so many skills things I never dreamed I could do, I finally made my parents proud and I was earning a decent income.
I’m going to throw back a post dedicated to each year of my 5 years these photos are from 6th October 2014 to 6th October 2015.
This year I went from college, to training in our yards to my first site at Tottenham Court Road Crossrail where I operated a lovely Liebherr LTR1060.
A short while ago I attended a fab event at Brookland’s race course with WES and was giving out small ‘Girl’s can’t what?’ stickers with a picture of a engineer, I posted on Instagram and everyone loved it.
I however felt they were missing a site feel and wondered if I could do my own version featuring a crane, I thought it would be great to promote the small amount of women who work in plant and hopefully encourage a few more to give it a try.
So amazingly due to work I do in and around construction I managed to get nominated to attend the Queens Tea Party and somehow off the back of this nomination I made the final stages and received an invite!
Things like being invited to royal palaces are not usual for someone like me and I was very honored and excited about the whole thing, I must have spent the next two weeks googling what actually happens at an event like this and what is a ‘Tea Dress’ and a ‘Lounge suit’ which might seem blazingly obvious but when one is invited to the Queens house, one must dress appropriately.
As a bonus you are allowed to take a guest to the palace with you and I decided to take my Dad along as the whole thing would mean the most to him, my boyfriend didn’t even mind being sidelined for it.
The whole dress thing was bothering me as I felt I really had to dress like a proper lady for the day, which of course meant about 6 hours spent at Bluewater trying to find a dress, a fascinator, shoes, (My Eliza Doolittle moment) I am usually bumming around in a work T-shirt and leggings so stuff like this takes great effort!
A couple of months after receiving the invitation the day was finally here me and Dad dressed up smart, made our way into London and too Buckingham palace where we took a couple of photos outside and queued with lots of equally smart people to get inside.
Once through the huge but fast moving queue you move through the main gates through the front into a beautiful courtyard, through the other side of the courtyard up some stairs and through the building. The word beautiful isn’t descriptive enough, I would love to show some photos but unfortunately none are allowed to be taken inside.
Once you walk through the inside you are quickly ushered outside to where the tea party is and you are greeted with the greenest grass have ever seen! On the grass there are two bands at either end, when one stops playing it raises a flag and the other one starts.
There is a huge tent filled with all sorts of goodies, cakes, sandwiches, iced coffee, tea, coffee, juice, water an amazing spread and you can fill up with as much as your greedy chops will hold! I managed almost one of each thing to try and I was busting.
During the tea party you are allowed to roam the gardens freely and enjoy them, however at one point early on people start crowding and making a walk way, if you get invited to a tea party please move in early or else you wont see anything. Eventually through the huge walk way of people the royals make their way, the Queen unfortunately didn’t make the party but Prince Charles and Camilla did, they take their time speaking to the specially invited people who are dotted in the middle of the general public walkway and they do talk to a few people on the outskirts too.
They seemed to have good time for everyone and the walk really took a long time, once they reach they end they head into a diplomatic tent never to be seen again.
You can continue mooching around the gardens eating food and drinking or just accepting the bountiful free ice cream that seems to be wondering around until the event ends, I think you have around 3 hours to enjoy there.
All in all a brilliant once in a lifetime experience to share with my Dad, a great honor to be invited to share an amazing day with some many amazing people! What a way to be recognised!