Stonemasons will Chip & Carve for Royalty
23rd January 2009
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You will all have noticed the Stonemasons just outside the Cathedral - well we have just been told that they will have very important visitors:

Stonemasons at Hereford Cathedral are preparing themselves for some very special visitors. Their Royal Highnesses, The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall, will include the Mason's Yard during their forthcoming visit to the Cathedral.

The Cathedral Architect, Robert Kilgour, will present Hugo Scholfield, Director of Capps & Capps, the company which runs the mason's yard, and the Senior Mason, Simon Hudson to the royal couple during their visit to Hereford Cathedral. They will also meet some of the masons and trainees.

The stone masons are based on the north side of the historic building in public view, working in an on going restoration programme that such a building demands. The young craftsmen are a popular sight with locals and visitors.

"The masons carved a corbel featuring The Prince of Wales's feathers to mark The Prince's sixtieth birthday," said the Dean, Michael Tavinor. "It has been put in place on the south side of the building and it will be pointed out to His Royal Highness during the visit. People are always keen to stop by the yard and see them at work."

Also present in the Stone Yard will be two of Britain's triumphant Paralympic Games Team. Sasha Kindred won two gold medals in the swimming pool and was awarded an OBE in the New Year's Honours; he will be joined by Nyree Lewis who won a swimming silver medal. Their success is to be marked by the Stonemasons under the Cathedral Sponsor-a-Stone scheme, which raises vital funds for the Cathedral.

"We are all very proud of our local Paralympians, both during the Paralympics itself and then again when Sascha was in the New Year's Honours. Dedicating a stone to them in their home county seemed the natural thing to do," added the Dean. "We hope it will encourage others to sponsor a stone too!"

TRH The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall will join 150 guests at a special reception on Friday 30th January to celebrate the formal start of work, of the multi-million pound restoration of the Close of Hereford Cathedral. The Prince will meet Dame Jenny Abramsky, Chair of the Heritage Lottery Fund, who is making her first visit to Hereford. The HLF have awarded a grant of just over £4 million to the Close Project.

The Close Project will last up to three years and will include the re-laying of the collapsed drainage system and the upgrade of paths; the defining of boundaries and entrances to delineate the Close as a sacred space separate from the streetscape; improving lighting of the paths and building to extend the use of the space at the end of the day.

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