Stonemason Tom Flemons wins SPAB's Gwyn Watkins Award

Stonemason Tom Flemons, the Bath Workshop Manager at conservation specialist Cliveden, has received the 2020 Gwyn Watkins award from the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB). 

He received the Award yesterday (18 December) for his outstanding contribution both to traditional building skills and the SPAB Fellowship.

The award recognises those who have demonstrated excellence in their own work, encouraged other craftspeople, and made a continuing contribution to building conservation, SPAB and its Fellowship programme.

Tom Flemons is a long-term SPAB 'Guardian' on its Education & Training Committee, sits on the Scholars & Fellows Liaison Group and the Fellowship Recruitment Panel, having taken part in the SPAB Fellowship programme himself at one time. He now hosts and mentors other craftspeople, as well as being one of the group of SPAB members helping to guide the Old House Project, which is restoring a Grade II* building on the Historic England 'At Risk' register in Maidstone, Kent.                                    

Alex Gibbons of Stick in the Mud Conservation, who Chairs the William Morris Craft Fellowship Trust and is a SPAB Fellow & Guardian, praised Tom for his achievements and outstanding contribution to craft training. “He is a leading voice when it comes to inspiring and encouraging others in their craft-training journey. Tom’s calm and considered integrity makes him not only a respected stone conservator and workshop manager for Cliveden Conservation but also a great mentor to so many aspiring craftspeople.”

Accepting the Award, Tom said: “I was very proud to be awarded my Fellowship in 1992, learning an enormous amount and gaining from mixing with, and having the opportunity to experience, a wide range of trades and crafts. I have enjoyed and learnt such a great deal over the years from all those with whom I have come into contact on the various SPAB committees and panel. It is an enormous honour to have been awarded the Gwyn Watkins award and lovely to be linked with Gwyn, who himself was such a gifted mason and carver.”