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Murray Edwards College
University of Cambridge

Q&A with Imogen Davies

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    04 November 2020

    Imogen Davies joins the College as the new Carpenter / Joiner. She grew up around Cambridge and moved back here in 2014 to start a joinery course at Cambridge Regional College and an apprenticeship at Law & Lewis in Longstanton. In 2016 she won the British Woodworking Federation’s Apprentice Joiner of the Year Award.

    Welcome to Murray Edwards, Imogen, how does it feel to be here?

    It feels great to be here. It's been a great welcome from the team, and I feel like I’m settling well. I’ve been really enjoying all the artwork on the walls and I’m looking forward to seeing more of it as I discover more of the College! Also, I’ve been exploring and organising my workshop - Marie Kondo would be proud!

    Can you tell us a bit about your role and the work you do in College?

    As the new Carpenter / Joiner in the College I’ll be taking care of the general maintenance tasks and upkeep in rooms and offices as well as larger projects in the shared spaces. I got my apprenticeship in bench joinery, which means I worked in a workshop creating bespoke doors and windows (and joinery also extends to stairs and cabinets etc). Since then I have gained experience in more general carpentry roles - more of the on-site installation work in customers’ homes (think kitchens, bathrooms, skirting boards, shelving units etc).

    Has anything surprised you about your chosen career path?

    I think the whole path has been a surprise. 18 year old me had no idea what to do so I muddled along for a number of years working office jobs, retail, cleaning, restaurants, cafes, as well as working on farms around the world while travelling, before finally making the decision to pick a career. So, I looked at the trades and decided to be … a plumber. Then I had an unsuccessful 10 months in Newcastle trying to become a plumber before moving down to Cambridge to be a carpenter. (I knew I’d enjoy carpentry more, but I had thought plumbing was a more ‘sensible’ option - I’m glad I changed my mind!). Proof that everything you do ends up leading you to the right place in life eventually.

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

    I’ve rummaged around in my brain and I can’t recall anything that’s stuck so instead I asked my friends for suggestions. Here are some of the results:

    ‘’Live, laugh, lathe.”

    “Life isn’t about waiting for the termites to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the sawdust.”

    What do you like to do in your free time?

    I’m quite a homebody so I like being around my flat and doing things like jigsaw puzzles and computer games - I got hooked into the Among Us craze recently. I’ve been cooking a lot from the book ‘East’ by Meera Sodha and I can do a decent Dal and Roti! If we hadn’t spent the whole year trapped inside, I would have been frequenting car boot sales and live football matches.