A trainee welder will help tell the tale of a new novel when he builds a cage for use at a London book launch.

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Lewis Erith, 17, from Wortham, near Diss made the two-metre construction for the launch of Half Bad, the latest novel by Sally Green.

The story is set in a fantasy modern-day England, where witches live alongside humans, and 15-year-old Nathan, son of the most powerful and cruel Black witch, is locked up in a cage by white witches.

Lewis’ cage was a centrepiece of the at the media launch in the capital, when reviewers were invited to pick up a copy of the book.

The West Suffolk College welding apprentice said: “I really enjoyed making the cage. It was a nice change of pace to make something outside of the norm and knowing your work will be seen by so many people makes you pay attention to the detail.

“Starting an apprenticeship has put me on a career path that I enjoy. The tutors at West Suffolk College are really experienced and have helped me no end in my progress.”

Lewis joined Styne Ltd, in Rickinghall, in August 2013 after starting his intermediate apprenticeship with another firm, and is expected to complete the apprenticeship next month .

The firm’s director, Max Horslen, said: “Lewis is an exceptional welder, more skilled than most people of his age. From start to finish, he was involved in the design and quotation of the cage and he did an outstanding job.

“It is a testament to Lewis’s ability that we were happy for him to fabricate a job which will not only be the focal point of the national launch of Half Bad, set to take place in March at Waterstones flagship store in central London, but also at the Bologna Children’s book fair.

“We have also had enquiries from the publishers in Holland and Italy.

“Having an apprentice has brought a breath of fresh air, and allows us to plan for the future of the company with confidence. It is a really positive experience, one that we will definitely look to repeat.”

Lewis is set to progress onto an advanced apprenticeship with Styne Ltd.

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