There’s something about rural communities in which nothing is secret for long. The jungle drums beat far and wide.
So when Lee moved into Cheswardine three years ago, it wasn’t long before he got wind of work on offer at Sansaw.
“My in-laws had bought a house there and we moved into the annexe on the side. It wasn’t long before I knew of Graham and heard he was after some help with the big office in the Pavilions.”
A skilled joiner and carpenter, Lee spent eight weeks as a sub-contractor on the job and after helping out on other projects as a freelance he has been at Sansaw full time since 2016.
“There’s so much variety here,” he says. “I’m currently knocking out a fireplace at a rental property on Plex Road but one day I could be rodding drains and the next I’ll be fitting windows.”
And he doesn’t mind carrying on with his craft when he gets home.
“My job is a hobby. I bought a solid oak wooden work top and made 15 chopping boards out of it. My mother-in-law had a stand at the church Christmas fair and sold the lot!”
Life has changed a lot for Lee in the last three years since the arrival of his daughter, Lydia.
“I was never much of a party boy but I did like to travel and we had a fantastic trip on motorbikes around Goa for my birthday a few years’ back,” he remembers.
“But having a baby makes you grow up a bit. It also makes you take work more seriously. Even though sub-contracting was busy, you’re always thinking about the next job and making sure the diary is full. There’s less direct pressure now in terms of work but you do have to get used to working for someone again.”
While some of his work is solitary in a workshop, he always has a companion – music.
“I’m constantly listening to music. I like everything, as long as it’s not opera. I probably listen to Radio 1 a lot. I like being in touch and keeping an eye out for the new music, although when I get home my daughter just wants to listen to Little Mix!”
And what does he get up to away from work?
“I love getting out on the jet-ski,” he says, getting more animated. “We go to Black Rock Sands a lot. I love it there and we rent a cottage once a year with loads of friends. I like the sea to be nice and rough so you can hit the waves hard!”