The Royal Warrant Holders Association and the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) both offer schemes to help those who already have craft skills to hone their specialities.
The Royal Warrant Holders Association does this through its Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) while SPABâ€ˆdoes it through its William Morris Craft Fellowship. Many stonemasons have benefited from both schemes and have found that the training has given a tremendous impetus to their careers.
QESTâ€ˆprovides a bursary that enables you to continue your studies in a way you choose, while SPABâ€ˆorganises a year of conservation projects with other companies. You have to apply for both schemes. Competition for them is extensive and comes from across the skills spectrum, not just masonry.
The picture above shows QEST stonemason and lettercutter Dan Meek, from Norwich, receiving a City & Guilds Highly Commended Certificate in recognition of his outstanding professional achievements from HRH Princess Anne at Buckingham Palace during the annual Prince Philip Medal ceremony. Last year, through QEST, Dan was selected to design and cut a stone plaque for The Queen’s Coronation Festival. It is now on the Summer House at Buckingham Palace.