A BUILDER who was famous for giving a perfect finish to every piece of work he handled has died aged 78.

Percy Nicholson was taught by his father, the late John William Nicholson, who started a building firm in the 1920s at Eggleston, near Barnard Castle.

Mr Nicholson began work at 14 and became an expert craftsman in all kinds of woodwork as the firm built houses in Teesdale, Kielder and Hexham.

His widow, Ruby, said: "His father was a stickler for the very highest standards. He was taught right from the start that every job had to be absolutely perfect. Nothing less would do.

"That attitude stayed with Percy all his working life. His brother, David, was also taught the same way, only he specialised in stonework. Between them they ensured that their houses could not be faulted."

His funeral will be held today, at 11.30am, at Eggleston Parish Church.

He leaves a daughter Janet, son-in-law Trevor Coatsworth and two grandchildren, Robert and Susan.

Donations can be made to the Friends of Richardson Hospital and Barnard Castle Surgery.