Stone mason’s school plans a step closer

A dad of four from Mundesley is one step closer to achieving his dream to keep a historic skill alive.

Master tradesman John Briggs has worked as a stone mason for 40 years and wants to establish a masonry school in Norfolk which would teach students practically by working with him and other tradesmen on site.

And now the 56-year-old has completed a prestigious travelling fellowship through the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust.

After filing his report last year when he returned from three years of travelling he was invited to an awards ceremony at Westminster last month where he received a medallion from former Welsh athlete Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.

He said: 'I travelled all over Europe - Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Holland. But now with all this experience under my belt and essential contacts the plan is to find a premises to open my school.'

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The trust awards grants to British citizens from varied backgrounds to travel overseas and bring back knowledge and best practice for others in their profession.

Mr Briggs said: 'I wanted to see what was available in Europe for teaching and training because we do get left behind.

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'In France they have got a group called the Compagnons, which has got 40 huge training establishments all round France.'

His ultimate dream would be to set up a similar scheme in England, using the country's 42 cathedrals as training bases. But for now he is looking for premises where he could establish his academy.

? If you know of a premises Mr Briggs could use email

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