I began as a bricklayer in 1984, on the recommendation of my father (one rainy Tuesday afternoon, as I recall, in Nottingham’s Victoria Shopping Centre), who saw the practical and financial worth of such a course of study, and my career path has stayed within the construction industry ever since.

It has been a varied career, which has encompassed bricklaying, health and safety, estates management and many years of teaching brickwork as a vocational craft subject. In all those years, however, I have never found one craft book, among the many excellent works by expert practitioners, which gives someone new to bricklaying all the underpinning and practical knowledge needed in one simple, accessible volume, at the same time providing a basis for further reading. It is with this in mind that I decided to write this book! It is intended to provide an overall appreciation of the materials and the basic practical skills associated with the craft, to enable the reader to undertake simple practical bricklaying projects of his or her own.