Toby Poultney

What is your favourite memory of Malvern College?

Achieving my Malvernian Scholarship. The co-curricular activities such as the Cadets was brilliant! However, my favourite memory is just being able to enjoy the wonderful campus.

What attracted you to your particular career and what do you enjoy most about it?

I came down to Cornwall to study Photography at Falmouth University and found myself getting very invested in the Cornish way of life and their rich history, especially their maritime history. I had always been interested in working with my hands and gaining as many practical skills as possible. This led me to consider a career in boat building. I enjoy the challenge of precision joinery and seeing how you can, essentially, turn a log into a beautifully balanced vessel.

What part did Malvern College play in giving you the necessary skills for your chosen path?

I think having an all-rounded education allowed me to explore my interests, not all academic. The arts played a massive role in my time at Malvern College, and still does in my day-to-day life.

What are your ambitions?

Ideally, I would aim to set up as a self-employed shipwright and build new traditional sailing vessels and to restore a wonderful traditional fleet of working boats and yachts we have in the South West.

What advice would you give to current pupils contemplating working in your field?

The maritime industry is extremely varied, I consider boat building more of a craft as opposed to a trade. Any craftsman/woman should just love what they are doing. You are keeping wonderful skills and traditions alive by learning from a ‘master’. Don’t frown upon apprenticeships as a career option – you get paid to learn a craft or trade and you get to apply your knowledge as you are on the job.

There are many jobs in the maritime industry – and the South West is certainly a great hub for the industry.

What advice would you give to current pupils about making the most of their time at the school?

You only get one chance – you never get a ‘do-over’ so make the most of the wonderful opportunities Malvern has to offer you. Say yes to as many things as possible, even if after the event you didn’t enjoy it. Better that, than regret never trying it.

Any final thoughts?

Malvern is a wonderful school with fantastic housemasters/housemistresses, teachers and pupils. Make the most of your time there. You are now a part of a great network of people!

Also thank your parents – many have sacrificed a great deal to send you to one of the best schools in the country. I’m sure they would be grateful.