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17th November 2017
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MBE for specialist tiling contractor
Robert Howard, managing director of Wilson & Wylie Contracts, was awarded the MBE in the Queen's Jubilee Honours List announced last week, in recognition of his services to the British wall and floor tile industry.
Robert was born and educated in Hollinwood, Oldham. He began his working life in the tile industry at the age of 15, serving a five year bound apprentice to J Duncan of Oldham whilst also attending the Manchester College of Building. During his time there he won a National Tiling Competition at Olympia and in 1968 was awarded a prize for achieving the highest marks in City & Guilds Wall & Floor Tiling, by Lord Rhodes of Saddleworth.
His early days were spent on the tools, but as his career developed, not only was he fixing tiles, but with his passion for training already ingrained, his company allowed him in 1974 time off to return to the college lecturer on wall & floor tiling.
Robert progressed up through the ranks to Contracts Manager and then moved to London in 1978 where he was employed by one of the larger tiling contractors, Wilson & Wylie Contracts. He progressed to Contracts Director while in his first period at this business. He left, but returned seven years later to take over as Managing Director.
During his working life he has always been willing to share his knowledge with others and it is in his nature to 'give back'. He was the last chairman of the National Master Tile Fixers Association (1997-1999) and as one of the founder members went on to chair The Tile Association (2002?2004) for a two year period in its early days.
Robert has chaired the Training Committee since The Tile Association was launched in 2000; represented the industry on many committees involved in improving standards in training and he represents the UK on the Board of the European Fixers Association. All of these activities have been undertaken on a voluntary basis. He is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Tilers and Bricklayers, where he sits on their Craft Committee.
After the announcement was made, Robert said: "I was truly delighted and surprised to receive the letter telling me about the Award. It is an honour that I am immensely proud of."
Wilson & Wylie Contracts is a major tiling contracting business which has operated in Hayes, Middlesex for 85 years. The company specialises in major tiling contracts in London and the South East and has completed a number of prestigious contracts including the Uxbridge Lido, National Gallery, Geometric Tiling at the Marianne Gallery Kew Gardens, Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle ,House of Lords to name a few.
The Worshipful Company of Tylers and Bricklayers is one of the ancient London liveries. The Livery encourages excellence in the tiling and bricklaying industries and has awards for outstanding tiling and brickwork.
22nd June 2012