Tools of the trade made fine donation for Portsmouth boat builders

  • Retired joiner gives his collection of tools to the International Boatbuilding Training College
  • The college is teaching students how to build boats the old-fashioned way - by hand
  • Donation is one of many the college has recieved
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TOOLS donated by a retired ships’ joiner are being put to good use by a new generation of boat builders.

David Sandell, from Portchester, has given a collection of more than 200 handtools to the International Boatbuilding Training College, which started operating at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard earlier this year.

Consisting of chisels, saws, drills, rulers, squares and much more, the equipment is being used by students taking part in shipbuilding courses.

Mr Sandell, 75, said he was happy the tools had gone to a good home.

He said: ‘It was one tall chest and four joiners’ tool boxes.

‘They have been in my garage since I retired 15 years ago and I felt that somebody should use them.

‘I thought, what a wonderful opportunity I would be to have them there in the dockyard to teach people the basic skills of woodwork.’

Mr Sandell worked at the dockyard for 42 years, receiving an Imperial Service Order medal when he left.

College chief executive Nat Wilson said he was delighted to receive the tools, which were now helping to bring traditional boatbuilding back to Portsmouth.

Mr Wilson said: ‘They’re invaluable.

David Sandell, left, hands over his tools Nat Wilson, chief executive of IBTC Portsmouth

David Sandell, left, hands over his tools Nat Wilson, chief executive of IBTC Portsmouth

‘We ask our full-time students to provide their own tools, but for our short-course students and those who don’t have the funds, we provide them, and that all comes from donations such as Mr Sandell’s.

‘We are the only college in Britain which specialises in practical hands-on ship building. These are all hand tools and that’s brilliant because that’s what we’re about.’

Mr Wilson said the college had also recieved many tools from other generous donors, and they welcomed more donations.

He said: ‘Mr Sandell’s tools are representative of a whole lot of tools that have been donated from different places.’

I felt that somebody should use them

David Sandell

The college, which also has branches at Buckler’s Hard and Lowestoft, opened at the Historic Dockyard in April.

They are based at the Historic Boat Workshop, and will move to Boathouse Number 4 when its renovation is complete in early September.

Enrollments are now being taken for the next boatbuilding course which starts September 28.