Duke of Gloucester presents his Awards for Stonemasonry

With their Duke of Gloucester Award certificates are (left to right) James Digger, Gordon Utting, Gary Collier from Mono Masonry and Tony Long, the Head Mason at Canterbury Cathedral.

His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester was at Mercers Hall in the City of London on 6 December to present the Worshipful Company of Masons' Duke of Gloucester Awards for Excellence in Stonemasonry.

Usually the Awards are presented to people who have recently finished their apprenticeships or training, but this year an extra category was added to recognise the skills of individuals or teams who had been in the industry longer.

In category one, for an individual with two to 10 years post qualification experience, the Award for Excellence went to James Digger, who studied at York College and, having attained a Level 3 NVQ, joined the team at York Minster and developed into an exceptional stonemason. He won the Gold Medal in stonemasonry at the WorldSkills UK national finals in 2019 and has just completed his studies for the Cathedral Workshops Fellowship Foundation degree.

A Highly Commended in category one was awarded to Oliver Chamberlain, who studied at Bath College, attained Level 3 in stonemasonry and banker masonry, and has a Cathedral Workshop Fellowship degree in Building Conservation. He currently works at Exeter Cathedral, having previously worked at Gloucester and Canterbury Cathedrals.

In category two, Gordon Utting from Chichester Stonework was Awarded 'Excellent' as the principal carver/mason of four lions carved in Messangis limestone for Tusmore Park, Oxfordshire, while the masonry teams from Canterbury Cathedral and Mono Masonry in Oldham, Greater Manchester, were Highly Commended.