Mac is descended from a long line of Scottish stonemasons and is only the second brickie in the family. Apprenticed to Trollope & Colls and later F J Minter, he spent seven years at technical college, gaining the National Certificate and two City & Guilds awards. One of the highest qualified bricklayers in the UK, he won a Best Craftsman in Britain award at Olympia.
Following two years of national service, where he was Regimental Drilling Instructor in the No.1 Btn of the Ordnance Corps, he joined the family building company. Work abroad included operating bricklaying machines involved in system build housing.
He has been self-employed ever since then, spending the longest time, 23 years, on civil engineering projects building the London sewers. Latterly he has worked on the Inner Temple, and many of the royal palaces, repairing and re-building the elaborate chimneys and other sections of specialist brickwork.