21 Nov 2016

The Duke of Gloucester Gold Award Winner


Stone Federation Great Britain and the Worshipful Company of Masons are delighted to announce that the 2016 Duke of Gloucester Gold Medal for outstanding lifetime achievement in stonemasonry has been awarded to Dr Dick Reid OBE.

The idea for some recognition for those in stonemasonry was originally mooted in the 1980s when it was noted that this was one craft which did not have any kind of recognition, the supreme accolade.

Other industries had their Oscars and Grammies, their Pulitzers and their Turners so it was long overdue that our industry had some way of recognising the person who had reached the pinnacle of achievement in the natural stone industry especially in stonemasonry.

His Royal Highness, The Duke of Gloucester, who has an affinity for stonemasonry and has been a liveryman of the Company since 1975, also felt that some form of recognition should be put forward and was instrumental in developing the concept of an award.

This Award is given in honour and recognition of those who have accomplished an outstanding lifetime achievement in the natural stone industry or the craft of stonemasonry, and is an initiative jointly organised by Stone Federation Great Britain and the Worshipful Company of Masons from the shared desire to celebrate the craft of stonemasonry and the professionals who make up the industry.

Dr Dick Reid was born in 1934 in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he excelled at arts and crafts at school and was spotted by Ralph Hedley and offered an apprenticeship in his studio as a carver in stone and wood.  The training was spread over five years and included attendance at Newcastle Art School.

On completion of his apprenticeship, Dr Reid then served in the army as a captain, and on completion of his service, served in the Territorial Army for a further 10 years.

He then set up a stonemasonry workshop in York and established himself as an expert in restoration, conservation and new build schemes, both nationally and internationally.  His strength lay not only in his knowledge, but his ability to do the work himself if need be.  He was always hands on as a sculptor, stonemason and carver.

Dr Reid has been involved in countless projects over his extensive career.  These include helping to repair the damage done by fire in Windsor Castle, The Sanctuary at Highgrove, Fairfax House, York, Carlisle Cathedral, the redundant church of St Sampson’s York and Rockland St Peter’s Church, Norfolk.  He has repaired and reconstructed numerous fireplaces at Althrop, Spencer House and Chatelherault in Scotland.  Numerous too are the staircases and other details he has made anew from 18th and 19th century designs.  A lettercutter of distinction, among his work is the Countess of Pembroke’s memorial in Westminster Abbey.  Many are the memorial tablets by him on church walls and headstones in country churchyards in Yorkshire and elsewhere.

Outside of his carving work Dick became involved with a number of institutions, and the invitation from the Prince of Wales in 1989 to take an active part in his Institute of Architecture was a great honour. The Prince was concerned that classical architecture was not being taught anywhere, and the idea of the institute was to remedy that lack of training. This involved summer schools in England and America which were a great success. Dick became one of the lecturers and also a trustee of the Institute, and every year for twelve years gave up eight weeks to lecture.

Generous with his time and his skills, Dr Dick Reid has served on committees and other bodies, local and national and shared his knowledge and enthusiasm with them.  With his wife, Elizabeth, he has promoted and encouraged NADFAS and in recognition of his work he received a doctorate from the University of York and was awarded an OBE.

Both Stone Federation Great Britain and the Worshipful Company of Masons offer Dr Reid their warmest congratulations.


Members' News

Stone Federation would like to congratulate former Stone Federation President, Peter Harrison for being the recipient of the stone industry's highest award, the Duke of Gloucester Gold Medal.

Peter was presented with his medal by the Duke of Gloucester himself at Worshipful Company of Masons' Master's Banquet in London's Mansion House.

The Medal, which was introduced in 2010, is awarded every two years, to honour an individual in the craft of stonemasonry or the natural stone industry whose work is of considerable merit and who is acknowledged by his or her peers for the excellence of their contribution.

The idea for recognition for those in stonemasonry was originally mooted in the 1980s when it was noted that stonemasonry did not have any kind of recognition or a supreme accolade.


His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, who trained as an architect and has an affinity for stonemasonry, also felt that some form of recognition should be created and was instrumental in developing the concept of a recognition for stonemasonry befitting the millennia-old craft.

Stone Federation are a member of EuroRoc, an organisation made up of the various European Federations for the dimensional stone industry.  The aim of the group is to coordinate questions of common interest and find solutions while promoting the use of dimensional natural stone.


The Federation's EuroRoc representative, Michael Poultney of Albion Stone along with Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman, attended the latest meeting held at the Verona Stone Show in October.


There were a range of topics discussed, but shown are four discussions points that will be of particular interest to members.


1. Ethical Sourcing - There are various different degrees of controls of ethical sourcing across Europe and some is at a very local level.  It was accepted that the EU should be encouraging stones from ethical sources but there was some scepticism that a system with a high degree of certainty could be found in the short term.  It was agreed that the starting point should be to pool all the experiences from the differing methods currently being used by different, Countries, companies and organisations.

2. Geographical Protection - There was considerable support from across the EU and the robust comments from the UK were considered positive.  It is back with the European Parliament on what could be a long journey to possible implementation.  

3. Reporting Figures - There was concerns that the code numbers used for reporting production, imports and exports are not recording the dimensional stone figure accurately.  It was suggested that these should be related to the harmonised Product Standards (BS EN). Michael Poultney has been in dialogue with BGS and Eric Bignell at the Natural Stone Specialist magazine about the topic earlier in the month. Euroroc will progress the matter with the relevant authorities.

4. Silica Dust - There was a mixed response about the danger of the implementation of the dust regulations and the prospects of reducing the code.  It was agreed that the experiences from the implementation from national authorities will be requested.


With the island of Portland, from which the famous Portland limestone comes, being just off the Dorset coast from Weymouth, there could not have been a more appropriate material to use for a sculpture of the Olympic rings that has now been installed in the town that is hosting the Olympic sailing events. 

Burlington Stone has acquired the rights to quarry at Petts Quarry on Kirkstone Pass and Brathay Quarry near Ambleside following the regrettable demise of Kirkstone Quarries Ltd.

This new monument, costing £5 million, will commemorate the 55, 573 crew members of the RAF's Bobmer Command who were killed between 1939 and 1945.  The average age of those who lost their lives was just 22.

Albion Stone has recently purchased a new ‘JCB Fantini’, tractor mounted stone saw which will be used to increase efficiency in the Quarry & Mine.  This is the first machine of its type to be imported into any UK stone extraction operation. 


TV presenter, journalist and former conservative politician and Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo made a fascinating tour of local natural stone producer, Burlington Stone of Kirkby-in-Furness, shown on 26th January on BBC2 at 6.30pm, as part of series three of the BBC’s popular travel documentary, Great British Railway Journeys.


A £500,000 investment into an innovative new roof for Albion Stone’s Factory is set to save thousands of pounds a year on their electricity bills.

Albion Stone supplied over 3m³ of Jordans Basebed and Jordans Whitbed in the form of treads risers, paving and memorial stones.

Taking centre stage on The Marshalls Garden That Kids Really Want! at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May the company utilised its own indigenous natural Yorkstone block to create two striking central features in this amazing organic playground.