is attained by slow degrees;
it requires the hand of time
  • Oxford Preservation Trust Awards 2017

    Oxford Preservation Trust marks its 90th year in 2017, and celebrates its 40th anniversary recognising projects that add value to Oxford at an awards evening.

    There was no shortage of entries in each category and we were pleased to be shortlisted, and then to receive a Certificate for work we did with Cluttons, to restore the Walton Street Front of the Oxford University Press B-Wing. You can see further details of the project here.

    The evening was well attended and a total of 4 plaques and 8 certificates were awarded across the four categories of New Buildings, Building Conservation, Small Projects and Environmental and Landscape Enhancement. Further details of the OPT Awards here.

  • OCTG Apprentice Awards Evening on 19 October 2017


    On 19 October 2017 the Oxford Construction Training Group held its Apprentice Awards evening at the De Vere Oxford Thames Hotel.

    The Apprentice Awards were sponsored by Buildbase, Gelder Joinery, Symm and Smiths of Bletchingdon and opened with an introduction from Chris Kimber-Nickelson, current Chairman of the OCTG. Speakers John Tolson – a former apprentice navigator in the Merchant Navy – and Alfie Saunders of Smiths and Sons offered some interesting perspectives on apprenticeships and their value to young people, their employers and to the future of the construction industry.

    There were 18 nominations overall from 11 nominating organisations, with nominees coming from a range of trades including Bench Joinery, Building Maintenance/Carpentry, Bricklaying, Groundworks, Site Carpentry and Plumbing & Heating.

    Apprentices shortlisted for an award were each presented with a certificate and small prize in recognition of their success.


    NVQ Level 3 – Samm Murphy, Bricklayer, Wain & Francis Limited.

    NVQ Level 2 – Harry Dorsett, Bench Joiner, Barr Joinery Limited.

    Merit Award – Martynas Jakomas, Bricklayer, Knowles & Son (Oxford) Limited.

    Special Recognition Award – Aidan Webber, Plumbing & Heating Engineer, E W Plumbing & Heating Limited.

    At Symm, we believe strongly in the value of apprenticeships and very much welcome and support the OCTG Apprentice Awards. We have a long history both of training young people and involvement in the furtherment of apprentice training in the industry. All three Symm apprentices who recently completed their NVQ3 – Nathan Stacey, Tom Kogel and Eamon Parker – have been taken on as qualified tradesmen and we are delighted to announce that we have just agreed new apprenticeships with four young people, with more to follow.

    Our Apprentice Ambassadors regularly attend events organised by training providers and others where young people have the opportunity to learn about the vast range of apprenticeships available to them, many in the construction industry.

    If you would like to know more about apprenticeships and what is available to anyone wondering about their first career steps, please take a look via the links below.

    Contact details for vacancies or apprenticeships at Symm

    The Oxfordshire Construction Training Group (OCTG) Go Construct Oxfordshire Apprenticeships ACE Training

  • Symm Apprentices Now NVQ3 Qualified Site Carpenters

    We are very pleased to have taken on three new site carpenters, all of whom served their apprenticeships at Symm and recently attained their NVQ 3 certificates.

    Well done and welcome to Tom Kogel, Eamon Parker and Nathan Stacey.

    If you are interested in taking up an apprenticeship or have any questions, please contact Amy Middleton, HR Advisor on or call 01865 254900.

  • Thank You!

    Thank you to everyone who so generously sponsored our 2017 Blenheim Triathlon team. Having reached our initial target of £1,000 quite early in proceedings, we decided to double it and go for £2,000. It looked for a while that we wouldn’t quite make it but I am pleased to say we came through in the end and were able to donate £2,000 to Bloodwise, the blood cancer charity.

    Our team members were truly amazing, having signed up for the event at quite short notice, but we couldn’t have raised this amount without the fantastic generosity of our supporters.

    Thank you again – perhaps we’ll see you there next year, at Blenheim Bloodwise Triathlon 2018!


  • Symm teams at Blenheim Bloodwise Triathon

    We had a great day at the Blenheim Bloodwise Triathlon on 4 June, with each of our three relay teams finishing well.  We lost no-one in the lake(!), there were no injuries and a good time was had by all. Everyone has been very supportive in helping us raise £1,738.32 for this great charity, just £261.68 short of our target £2,000 – there is still time to donate if you would like to show your support.

    Support the Symm Triathlon effort - donate to Bloodwise

  • TAG has a new website

    The Traditional Architecture Group (TAG) has a brand new website and a new domain name.  With such an impressive list of members it is no surprise to see plenty of photos of beautiful architecture.

    Traditional Architecture Group

  • Symm teams in Bloodwise Blenheim Palace Triathlon

    It’s official! Nine willing bodies will make up three teams to compete in the Sprint Team Relay at Blenheim’s triathlon on 4th June, aiming to raise £1,000 for Bloodwise, a charity that funds research into blood cancers.

    Our team members are Gary Bennell, Adam Mullins, Joeseph Rimmer,  Phil Morton,  Peter Payne, Lorcan Doyle, Jon Matthews, Paul Martin and Terry Bartholomew.

    If you would like to donate to Bloodwise and help us hit our target please visit our JustGiving website.

    Help Symm raise £1,000 for Bloodwise About Bloodwise

  • 25 years service for Symm Project Manager

    25 years' service for Alan Harper


    Symm Project Manager Alan Harper was celebrating last week as he passed the milestone of 25 years continuous service at Symm. Alan first joined us at the tender age of 18 to complete the final year of his Carpentry and Joinery in Advanced Craft apprenticeship then, following a break to explore the world of being a sub-contractor he returned, becoming Site Manager in 1993 and in 2009, Project Manager, overseeing higher value projects.
    Alan has amassed an enviable collection of Symm memorabilia over his 25 years, amongst which is a photograph on the front of a 1990’s Symm brochure of the young carpenter working on roof timbers.
    Chairman James Axtell and Aidan Mortimer presented Alan with his award during a special site visit, toasting the occasion with a fresh builders’ brew!

    towards the beginning of Alan's 25 years!

    Alan Harper on 1990’s Symm brochure



  • Supporting young musicians at LMTO

    Symm supports young musicians in LMTO's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's, State Fair

    We love to support young people and encourage them in their efforts to progress, and have done this at Symm for many years with our craft apprenticeships and training programmes.

    We were recently approached by Freddie Tapner, Principal Conductor and Founder at the London Musical Theatre Orchestra – now established as an Arts Charity – to support a scheme to make £15 tickets available for one of their upcoming performances.

    Freddie originally formed the LMTO to get together musicians and singers of all abilities for ‘play-throughs’ – opportunities to perform together without the pressure of an audience, which allows everyone to explore and build on their skills. This has attracted a number of leading musicians and vocalists from Musical Theatre, but the interesting thing is that a quarter of the performer places are given to up and coming young musicians to facilitate their development and assist their journey to professional status. Anyone can sign up to take part in the monthly play-throughs.

    The orchestra also now puts on special productions for audiences, with two in 2016 and more planned for 2017.  Symm will be sponsoring their performance of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s State Fair on 6 November 2016 at Cadogan Hall to enable 100 tickets, usually priced at between £24 and £50, to be offered at the flat rate of £15.

    If you know anyone who would appreciate a discounted ticket to great musical theatre, they can book for State Fair by following the link.

    Here’s a video about the LMTO.