Peter Hayman L.C.G.I.
Born Portland Dorset, I went straight from school into an indentured stone masonry apprenticeship, I had no intention of being a mason, but I was always good at art and liked working with my hands, I got one of the available apprenticeship places at
The Stone Firms Ltd Portland and since then I`ve always been doing something in stone.
It has given me the opportunity to see a bit of the world, and meet some interesting people.
| I was lucky to serve my time when there was still a relatively
stone industry on Portland, there was more than thirty
masons working in the masonry shop alone, plus fifteen or
so apprentices at various
stages of training.
Some of the old masons had been at the banker since they were fourteen, so they knew a thing or two about the job.
The stone yard below the masons shop ( Bottomecombe ) had a covered area the size of two football pitches, with rows of saws of various sizes from the big ripper with its twelve foot blade which could cut a face off blocks straight from the quarry down to the small crosscuts, plaining machines, routing and polishing machines, all under cover and served by overhead gantries. We had our own blacksmiths shop, engineering workshop, stores, canteen, and drawing office, there must have more than a hundred men in the whole yard itself, in addition to this there was the various quarries dotted about the Island, a stone crushing plant, stone haulage and delivery section with their own mechanics and garage workshop.
But as big as the setup was when I did my time, it was still nothing compared to its heyday, it was always interesting listening to the stories of when it seemed everybody on the Island had been involved in some way with the stone industry. The original Islanders were a hardy bunch, at home working the stone or working the sea in all weathers, close knit communities who generally kept themselves to themselves, going off the Island as little as possible, my grandfather when he was young worked in the quarries, like his father, and his father before him, like other generations of men and boys all working the stone, those days are gone forever.
From the beginning I seemed to have a natural aptitude for using the tools and a good mason in Billy Lawrence to show me the way, I won various awards, certificates and cups, from trade bodies such as the Worshipful company of masons, The NJBC, Local Union competitions,Olympia trade exhibition, plus a few others. I completed a full apprenticeship, and won the first prize company masonry awards three years in a row.
City and Guilds passed with distinction 1974
City and guilds passed with distinction advanced craft1975
City and guilds first prize advanced craft medal 1975
L.C.G.I. award in contruction.
have worked on some interesting jobs, in a few far flung places, Tower Bridge London, Chichester Cathedral Works, Gosford
Quarries Australia, Lands department Sydney, Port Arthur Hobart Tasmania, and had esperiance in most
aspects of the trade, fixing, carving, banker masonry, letter
cutting and sculpture, using most materials, including Limestone, Granite, Sandstone,
Marble, Slate etc.
I finished my wanderings some time ago and now try to specialize in one off bespoke commissions. Working from my small workshop, I can supply almost anything from individual memorials, fire surrounds, coats of arms, sculpture, stone carving etc, I will have a go at most things, I like a challenge, however my output is limited as I generally work alone, so I have to be careful about the amount and type of work I can sensibly undertake, nowdays things can be shipped to most places on a pallet so my work does not nessesarily have to restricted to a local market.