An apprentice from St Helens has been crowned master of the rolls for the second year running in a national competition.

Adam Knowles was named Senior Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year at a glittering evening reception, hosted by leading trade body, the Painting and Decorating Association (PDA).

The results were announced at the trade body’s annual Paint Ball at the Hilton Liverpool City Centre Hotel on Saturday, 27 October, where Adam was invited up on stage and presented with a £200 cash prize, as well as a trophy and certificate.

This distinguished award comes a year after the 19-year old apprentice – who is currently studying towards an NVQ Level 3 in Painting and Decorating at St Helens College – won the Junior Apprentice Paperhanger title.

Adam – who lives in Newton-le-Willows – is employed by Bagnalls North, based in Ellesmere Port, who have played an active role in supporting his training and development.

He said: “Although I won the junior competition last year, I didn’t have much confidence when I came away from the contest this time, as it was a lot harder and there was so much more skill involved.

“It was a shock to be announced as the winner and I was really pleased that my contract manager and my girlfriend were there to support me.

“I’ll carry both of these titles with me throughout my future career, they have given me so much confidence in myself and work.”

The annual Apprentice Paperhanger of the Year contest – which is sponsored by long-standing partner Brewers – is open to painting and decorating apprentices from across the UK and this year was held at The Hub in Doncaster in June.

Adam, along with three other senior competitors, battled it out in the taxing seven-hour competition to wallpaper a mock living room, with additional obstacles including internal angles, inlay panels, borders and a fire surround.

The competition was judged by past PDA member, Mr Mike Clow, and PDA North East President, James Graham.

Neil Ogilvie, Chief Executive of the PDA, said: “It’s great to see students returning for the second year running, but even more special to see them claim the top title again.

“The competition is no mean feat and this year we witnessed some tremendous talent in the senior competition.