Meet the mascots - Andy and Millie

It’s time to meet our Taylor Wimpey mascots – Handy Andy and Millie Mortar!

What do they do on a building site? How did they get into it? And what are their plans for the future?

Amongst the surprising things you’ll learn in these exclusive interviews is the link between Handy Andy and Star Wars actor Harrison Ford, and why Millie Mortar joined historic buildings charity the National Trust!

Handy Andy

Handy Andy

What’s your job?

I’m a carpenter for Taylor Wimpey. And a mascot, obviously.

How did you get into that?

The carpentry? I started as a labourer on a building site for the experience, and then got to be a joiner’s mate, and then started knocking off the qualifications. I’m up to my Level 3 Diploma in Site Carpentry now. On the mascot side, I suppose I was chosen because of my theatre experience. I’m a bit of a show-off, I suppose, and I’ve always had a big head!

What theatre experience?

Well, my girlfriend Mandy has always been into acting and I started helping out at my local theatre doing the scenery and that, using my carpentry skills. Then I somehow started getting on to the stage, just doing little chorus parts and that, and now all of a sudden – this might surprise you – I’ve got a part in the musical version of The Full Monty! Just an amateur thing. No, the guys on the site don’t tease me at all about it! Why would you think that?

Are there many performers on a building site?

Ha! Everyone’s a a performer on a building site! Everyone thinks they can sing, everyone thinks they’re a comedian, and everyone thinks they’d be a much better mascot than me!  

What do you like about your job?

Oh that’s easy, carpentry’s all about assembling something from nothing, isn’t it? I mean it’s like a sort of miracle, starting off with random bits of wood and ending up with floor joists or skirting boards or the beams and trusses on the roof – and then, suddenly a complete house! And I like the precision of it; you’ve got to have an eye for detail and you need decent maths skills to work everything out – or in my case constant use of an indestructible calculator! That’s Handy Andy’s modus operandi!

And what do you dislike?

Weather. Not all weather, obviously. Rain, mainly. Ideally I’d work on a nice Greek island, where it’s hotter and drier! 

And what do you want to do in the future?

Keep working through the carpentry qualifications. I want to go for The Institute of Carpenters’ Master Certificate Scheme, and perhaps do a bit more acting. Lots of actors are into carpentry apparently – Harrison Ford, for instance, and Liam Neeson. Oh, and my acting name is Andrew Handy, if you want to look out for me!

Millie Mortar

Millie Mortar

What’s your job?

I’m a plasterer for Taylor Wimpey.

How did you get into that?

My grandad is a plasterer, on my mum’s side. Does that sound weird? I don’t mean he plasters my mum’s side! You know what I mean. Anyway, I used to work with him in the summer holidays when I was at school, for pocket money, so that’s how I got into it. I loved it, just working away in an empty house, music on (I love my music) getting well chatty with my grandad about the old days and about my mum when she was a little girl. Happy days!

What music do you like?

Indie bands. At the moment I’m listening to old stuff like Elastica, a ‘90s indie girl band who hardly anyone listens to now, and modern stuff I like would be Arctic Monkeys, Haim, that sort of thing. But I’ll listen to anything once, except heavy stuff and opera.

Are there many women in your line of work?

A few, and it’s increasing all the time. There’s another woman plasterer and a woman plumber, and a couple of surveyors who visit this site. And on the sales and marketing side, a lot of them are women. I think people still think that building work is for boys, but that’s old-fashioned. They think everything’s for boys, though, don’t they – politics, football, everything – until girls prove them wrong! I also play football by the way.

What do you like about the job?

It’s like being part of a team, building a house, and yet having your own thing to do that no one else can do as well as you can. I like that.

And what do you dislike?

Meat. I’m a vegetarian. Oh, did you mean about the job? Nothing really.

And what do you want to do in the future?

My mum calls me a “young fogey” because I’m a bit of a history nut. I’m really into old buildings and believe it or not I’m already a Life Member of the National Trust, which both sets of grandparents bought me for my 21st birthday.

So next I’m going to go for a Level 3 (NVQ) Diploma in Heritage Skills (Construction). This is like a traditional craft skills thing, and I can then go on to the repair and conservation of historic buildings. I’d love that, being part of a team bringing an old building back to life. That’s my dream. That and to own a classic 1970s VW Beetle Convertible. I love that car!