Last week we celebrated a Golden Jubilee at the school.

Well, to be precise, the 50th birthday of staff member Alan McGovern who has been with us for 35 years, having started out as an apprentice at the age of 15.

Alan now is head tutor for our one-month intermediate course, which was only introduced last year and has proved to be immensely popular.

Students have come from across the UK, but also from Germany, Trinidad & Tobago and Brazil – a real reflection of the standing the school has around the world.

But the success of the course is also down to Alan, and students have all been hugely appreciative of his teaching and woodworking skills.

The intermediate course fills an identified gap between the school’s one-week introductory course and nine-month professional course.

The intermediate course only has two students at any one time to maximise the amount of one-to-one tuition, and there are no formal start and end dates, to better ensure that tuition can be fitted around students’ other commitments.

The course not only teaches practical skills, but gives students a bench-work project to design and build a piece of furniture of their choosing – for example, a table.

So, from all of us at the Chippendale school, happy birthday Alan!