Craftsmen launch new diy skills centre

Jose Sarabia, left, and his son Phillip, at their new crafts training centre in Selby

Jose Sarabia, left, and his son Phillip, at their new crafts training centre in Selby

First published in Selby & Tadcaster York Press: Photograph of the Author by

A MASTER craftsman who helped restore York Minster following the fire in 1984 has joined his son in a new business venture in Selby .

Philip Sarabia, who lives in North Duffield, has opened the DIY Training Centre at Carr Street, following months of preparation, and asked his father Jose to join him and share his skills with their pupils.

Philip, 40, opened the centre last month, to host classes including wood carving. He said: “I saw an opportunity to help people do it themselves. I sold my motorbike and speedboat, and used all my savings to build this. Up until three weeks ago, I was here every night for about a year, getting it built inside and getting it ready.

“I want to give younger people some experience in the workplace. I think confidence is the biggest issue out there. A lot of people don’t want to work because they are a bit scared. DIY is something that doesn’t cost the Earth, but can make your house look better, make you feel better, and give yourself education and confidence.”

Philip asked his father, Jose, to join him at the centre, to help with wood and stone-carving classes.

Jose, 68, who lives in Brayton, has worked on projects at Spencer House, Kensington Palace, and Hampton Court Palace, and was chief carver during the restoration of York Minster following the 1984 fire.

Jose said: “I’m working under Philip’s umbrella. He’s done a fantastic job. I’m doing my own thing though, I’m not taking orders!

“It’s a shame there aren’t that many of us left, so it would be nice to pass my knowledge on to other people. When I look around at what we’re going to leave to the future generations, I feel a bit ashamed. When you look at the Gherkin, when compared to the Minster, or palaces, we are leaving them rubbish. I would like to think that at least I have left a lot of good things behind me.”

For more information on the classes and training centre, go to thediytrainingcentre.co.uk or phone 01757 290514.

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