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Who’s best at papering?

groupphotoYoung painters and decorators who took part in the final of a national contest are facing an anxious wait to find out the result.

Eleven students from all over the UK made it to the final of the Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year competition, held at The Hub in Doncaster at the beginning of October.

But the outcome of the prestigious event, organised by the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA), won’t be announced until next month.

The annual competition, which has been held for more than 10 years, provides entrants with the chance to demonstrate their expertise in hanging wallpaper against the clock.

It’s a test of skill, nerve and precision with money prizes at stake, not to mention the chance to be crowned best in the country.

Neil Ogilvie, chief executive of the PDA, says the contest offers fundamental training for young professionals.

He said: “Wallpapering is not a day-to-day skill nowadays and we need to make sure these young people are prepared for the future.

“The competition enables contestants to compete against each other – something they may have never done or very rarely do.

“With it being in held in National Wallpaper Week it makes this unique event even more special.”

For the first time in the history of the competition, there were two classes – an entrant level competition for students new to the trade and a more advanced senior level.

The five new entrants were required to hang wallpaper on a three-sided booth while six senior competitors had a more challenging task that involved inlay panels and fire surrounds as well as internal angles and borders.

Competitors were given seven hours to complete the tasks with competition sponsor Brewers providing all of the materials.

An expert panel of judges then marked the apprentices’ work based on their methodical approach and their attention to detail, which included whether the paper was hung plumb, bubble-free with patterns and joints joined properly.

Neil added: “The atmosphere today has been really positive with outstanding levels of comradeship and professionalism.

“The apprentices should be really proud of themselves.”

Derek Longcake, the national president of the PDA who has over 47 years’ experience in the trade, said: “Papering is a critical skill for any painter and decorator.

“This competition is the perfect place for them to have a go at it because the pressure they are under mirrors that of real life.”

The winners of both the New Entrant and Senior competitions will be announced at the PDA Conference Gala Dinner to be held at the Jurys Inn Hinckley Island Hotel, Leicestershire on Saturday, November 12.

Who’s best at papering?
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