I would like to acknowledge the fundamental part played by the following people in shaping my knowledge, experience and understanding over the years, both as a student and beyond. Without them this book could not have been written. In addition, the list also gratefully acknowledges those individuals who have provided practical support and assistance with both information and images used in the book: Jim Beardsley, Hugh Carr, Ken Crowe, Albert Johnson, Ray Linley and Andy Williamson (all South East Derbyshire College); Steve Morton (Hanson Building Products); Robert Parkin (North Nottinghamshire College); Andy Thomas (Travis Perkins Eastwood); Annabelle Wilson (Ancon Building Products); and Nicola Jane Slack, for everything!

Thanks are also given to the numerous, unknown bricklayers whose work is included in this book in order to illustrate good practice.

Finally, this book is dedicated to the memory of my late father, John Foster Collinson, who set me on the path for a most rewarding career and who was a ‘gentleman builder’ of the old school for whom ‘It’ll do’ never would!