A stone carving competition was held at Inverkeithing High School to mark the end of a week celebrating traditional skills as part of the Inverkeithing Heritage Restoration project.

Students got to try masonry during the week and then got to observe eight apprentice or recently qualified stone masons take part in the finale event.

Rebecca Horn, developing the young workforce teacher at Inverkeithing High School, said: “Seeing the competition take place in real time, in their school, was very inspiring for the pupils. The participants were literally showcasing a rewarding, traditional skills career, right in front of them.

“They worked outdoors so it was all highly visible from corridors, close to the lunch hall, and on routes to and from classrooms across the school campus. It gave hundreds of pupils the opportunity to see the stone masons in action.”

The competition was judged by experienced stone masons David Lindsay, Adam Innes, and Scott McGibbon.

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Emma Griffiths, training and development officer for Inverkeithing Heritage Regeneration, said: “There is currently great demand for stone masons to carry out much needed maintenance and repairs, as well as fulfil new commissions, and opportunities to undertake training become ever scarcer. The competition was a great opportunity to simply focus on craft skill, and the individual stone masons’ approach to a design commission.

“There was a really good response to the competition, in terms of gender, geographic location and career stage diversity. We had masons from two private sector masonry contractors, Ashwood Scotland Ltd and Laing Traditional Masonry, take part.  Three of the competition entrants had just started their apprenticeships in August, two with Historic Environment Scotland and one with Fife Council.”

The inspiration for the carvings was a simple graphic representation of the ship which appears on Inverkeithing’s town crest.

Freelancer Douglas Stevens was the overall winner.