Interview With Tommy Walsh: The Celebrity Builder.

tommy walsh 1It’s our pleasure to invite one of the most famous builders in Britain – Tommy Walsh, to partake in a Direct Trade Supplies interview. Tommy grew up in the London Borough of Hackney and learnt the hard graft from an early age. He accompanied his father to work, who owned a breeze-block production plant and it was here where he first picked up the shovel.

Construction and building was in the family’s DNA, so it was no real surprise that he entered the trade industry as a self-effacing builder, but oh how times changed. A mixture of good, honest hard work, having great character and being in the right place at the right time catapulted Tommy from a humble Hackney builder to a celebrity face that everyone wanted a piece of. 

His most memorable and perhaps biggest claim to fame was the role he played in the ‘Ground Force’ trio. Ground Force was a television programme that saw ordinary members of the public nominated for a surprise garden re-design. The show was headed by main presenter Alan Titchmarsh (Gardener) who was teamed with Tommy (Builder) and Charlie Dimmock (Gardener) to help complete the projects. The programme pulled in millions of viewers and was one of the very first to spearhead the boom in aspirational ‘make-over’ shows.

Ground Force ran for eight years and became a flagship show for the BBC – but that wasn’t the end for Tommy. Since Ground Force he’s gone on to be involved in around 1000 TV programmes from Challenge Tommy Walsh, Our House, Tommy Walsh’s Eco House, Trading Places, Tommy’s DIY Survival and many, many more.

Despite being a familiar face Tommy has stuck to his roots and continues to involve himself in the very same trade that once helped to kick start his career. We all know him as the big cheeky chappy builder but there’s a lot more to Tommy than meets the eye. So how about we crack on and discover more about the celebrity builder.

Q&A With: Tommy Walsh, The Celebrity Builder.

You must be the only builder, apart from Bob, who has found fame through a job in the trade industry. Was becoming an iconic builder always the intention or did this occur naturally? (more…)

Interview With Kelly Vincent: The Female Electrician.

kelly paper featureIn an industry saturated by males we thought we’d invite electrician Kelly Vincent, owner and employee of Kelly Electrics, to give her own insight into the world of a sparky. 30 or 40 years ago the proposition of a female electrician would have been laughed at but a lot has changed since then, and for the better. Kelly is part of a small contingent of female tradeswomen looking to provide an equally as good service as their male counterparts; whilst changing old fashioned attitudes as they do it. 

Not only did Kelly enter a male dominant industry but she also gave up her job to pursue her career change. The apparent lack of women in the trade industry as well as a list of great testimonials from her early clients saw Kelly attract admirers from afar. Some of those that wanted to know more included national press with her story being discussed in The Times newspaper (pictured) and home improvement magazine Homebuilding & Renovating.

Being a female electrician isn’t her only asset, you have to be good at what you do, and Kelly is. Since launching Kelly Electrics in 2013 she’s earned herself real recognition, so much so that in 2014 she was nominated as a finalist in both the ‘Britain’s Top Tradesman’ and ‘Women In Construction’ awards. Kelly Electrics has also seen a new addition to the team with another female electrician Sarah Watsham joining ranks. Sarah is a specialist in solving electrical problems and a stickler for perfection.

Seeing as Kelly challenges the status-quo of a male leading industry and poses inspirational values for like-minded women to follow, we thought it was only right to invite her to take part in an interview. Providing a quality service is her primary aim but there’s more to this story than your average electrician firm. So let’s see if she can change the perception of stout traditionalists that believe tradework is a men only job!
Q&A With: Kelly Vincent, The Female Electrician.

I read that you were once an administrator for the NHS but you decided to change your career path – what influenced your decision and was this brave step difficult to execute? (more…)

Interview With: Michael Shackleton @ Ornamental Garden Lighting, From Movies To Gardens.

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Front Shot Of Raymond Blanc Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons Hotel and Restaurant

Apart from the obvious perks of enabling people to see, illuminating your garden with lights can be a great way to add drama outside. Some people resort to plonking the odd garden spike light outside whereas others crave to get more out of their landscape. In this weeks interview we meet Michael Shackleton from Ornamental Garden Lighting, a specialist garden lighting design company based in Farnham, Surrey. 

michael shackletonMichael has a wealth of experience, he previously worked for 35 years in the film industry as a lighting designer and was involved in the production of iconic films such as Star Wars and Superman. Off the back of a successful time in film and advertising Michael concentrated his attention to garden lighting design. Since this move, Michael and Ornamental Garden Lighting (OGL) have visited, worked with and produced garden lighting designs for a whole host of properties and people. (more…)

Interview With JanLeonardo Wöllert: World Famous Light Painter.

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1, 2, 3 Freddy Is Coming by JanLeonardo

leonardo profileHe has worked with the likes of Nike, Playboy and Diesel, created artwork for the Tokyo Motor Show, Mercedes Benz and Coldplay, and currently has his LightArt-Performance project sponsored by camera giants Canon. Some of you may have even heard of him, his name? JanLeonardo Wöllert
(more…)

Interview With Janne Parviainen & Hannu Huhtamo: Light Painting Artists From Helsinki.

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Hannu ‘Light Tribe Junkyard’ & Janne ‘Cruisin’ Time’

Although Direct Trade Supplies is an electrical wholesaler we like to try and deliver a different kind of stance on our blog page – by loosely connecting interesting and unique stories to the products we sell. You’d be fooled in thinking that the above pictures have been created on some sort of graphic design software, but they haven’t. This is in fact just one of many examples of how Janne Parviainen & Hannu Huhtamo, famous light painting artists from Helsinki, Finland, use LED lights and long exposure camera techniques to create multicoloured masterpieces.
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