Jonathan (21) is employed by A.F.Jones Stonemasons Limited in Reading and won the award in the annual competition organised by Stone Federation Great Britain, the trade association for the natural stone industry.
Jonathan receives a perpetual trophy, tools to the value of £200, a cheque for £100 and a commemorative certificate. His employer and college also receive a certificate.
“I was given the news that I had won in a phone call and I was really pleased. We had a party in Reading with my workmates to celebrate my success. I owe a lot to my manager Tim Gash who won the award himself in 2006,” said Jonathan.
He lives in Station Road, Cholsey and joined A.F.Jones in 2009. As well as in-house training he has been learning his trade at Moulton College in Northampton, which is renowned for its stonemasonry courses.
The award entries are judged by a panel of experts chaired by John Bysouth, who has been in the industry more than 50 years, together with Sean Collins, managing director of Boden and Ward stonemasons and John Western, who also has over 50 years industry experience.
Entrants were nominated by their employer and were judged on written documents and photographic examples of the work. Included in the entry were written citations from both their
employer and college lecturer. Judges then drew up a short list before visiting individuals at their place of work.
Jonathan’s employer Angus Jones said “He is a creative and passionate young man with a huge talent for stone carving and stone masonry, He has a great work ethic and his attention to detail is second to none.”
Richard Hoyle, advanced practitioner in stonemasonry at Moulton College added “Jonathan is an exceptional apprentice. His abilities far exceed those of other apprentices of a similar age and experience. He always wants to further his development and skills and will always strive for perfection. Jonathan is a credit to his employer and the stone industry as a whole.”
Jonathan does have one concern for the future though and it’s about the way machinery is now being used for some jobs. “It makes me realise how increasingly rare these skills we have as stonemasons are becoming. It has also opened my eyes at how hard stonemasons of the past must have worked to achieve such grand buildings and intricate designs.”
The event was sponsored by Hutton Stone, Natural Stone Specialist magazine, Crawshaws, Vaudin Stonemasons and Orton Trust.
A.F.Jones was started by William Jones five generations ago in 1850.
It is currently owned and managed by Angus Jones, a direct descendant of the founder.
The company specialises in carvery, restoration, new build, stone cleaning and precision marble and granite work.
As well as the works at 33, Bedford Road, Reading it has a production works and showroom at Ipsden in Oxfordshire.
It is an approved conservator for English Heritage, National trust and the |Churches Conservation Trust.
A.F.Jones can be contacted on 0118 957 3537 or by Email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moulton College in Northampton offers a wide variety of courses in a number of different subjects, stonemasonry being just one of those subjects.
The stonemasonry area includes well-equipped workshops and resources designed to ensure that students get a realistic experience and are required to work to an industrial standard.
Different courses are available for different levels of expertise, ranging from improver to stonemason and ultimately ‘advanced skilled stonemason.’
More information on the stonemasonry courses can be obtained from the Building Subject Manager on 01604 491131.