Am Bratach No. 229
November 2010

Ben is top notch apprentice

Ben Stickland from Skerray was awarded a Certificate of Outstanding Achievement by UHI Inverness College at their award ceremony last month on completing his second year Modern Apprenticeship in plumbing.

Ben was taken on as an apprentice by Skerray firm, David Bowes Heating & Plumbing, but following the tragic, fatal accident of David on February 2 of this year, Ben returned to college on his own initiative to complete his second year. He was subsequently “adopted” by his previous journeyman, Kris Scott, when North West Plumbing was set up and to his credit, and to both David and Kris’s credit, has achieved a level of excellence in gaining this prestigious award. Eight years ago, Kris himself completed his own apprenticeship with David Bowes, whom he worked for until the latter’s untimely death.


Ben, a Shropshire lad, moved north to help run Borgie Hotel, a family concern, seven years ago. After a few years at the hotel he was thinking about attending a college course in Aberdeen when he was invited to take up an apprenticeship with David Bowes.
“I’m now drawing towards the end of my third year;” said Ben, “so I’ll be on my last year very shortly.”

As the name suggests, North West Plumbing operates mainly in the area between Melvich and Ullapool. “We do quite a lot of work in Assynt,” said Kris, who lived in Clachtoll and Lochinver for eight years. “The recession is not really affecting us so far, but I think if we had more men it would be.”

PIC: Ben Stickland (left) and Kris Scott

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