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Young bricklayer now honing award-winning stone masonry skills

A bricklayer who has set his sites on gaining specialist stone masonry skills, has shown that he is well on his way to achieving his goal after taking one of the top positions at the UK Masonry Skills challenge.

Bath-based Luke Kingston went head-to-head with 15 other trainee stonemasons at the regional heats of the Masonry Skills challenge and his ultimate second placing in the contest will now see him compete in the National Skillbuild final in Birmingham in September.

The 26-year-old said that the challenge was extremely hard but it gave him an excellent chance to really show what he is capable of. He and his fellow contestants were given eight hours to design, draw templates and make a classical architectural panel using only a mallet and chisel.

“It was a real endurance test; you don’t really have time to look up, maybe only to wipe the sweat off your brow then to get back to it,” he said. “But the trick is to persevere until the end.”

Luke spent seven years working as a master bricklayer before returning to college to re-train as a stonemason. He said he really enjoys the work as “the accuracy is more demanding” and he is constantly building his skills base.

The competition was judged by professionals from the Stone Federation of Great Britain.