Have you noticed the refreshing new look of the Chandler’s Ford War Memorial? It is improving each day I see it.
Jon Tann from Blackwell and Moody Ltd in Winchester is renovating the war memorial.
In the past few weeks, you would have seen Jon kneeling, crouching, stooping by the war memorial on Hursley Road, outside St. Boniface Church.
Apprenticeship is invaluable
Jon qualified as a stonemason 6 years ago, however, he has worked for more than 10 years in masonry, starting as an apprentice.
Jon told me that he has always loved calligraphy, wood work, carpentry – creating things with hands in general. When an opportunity arose when he was 18, he became an apprentice and he loves this trade.
Apprenticeship was an invaluable experience to him. Jon told me he learned important skills from experienced and older stonemasons from Blackwell and Moody.
Cleaning, scrubbing, carving, painting
How is Jon renovating the war memorial?
Jon told me he first rubbed the surface to make it smooth again. How did he do that? Using water and lots of scrubbing.
Jon then marked out all the letters on the memorial, and carved out each letter by hand. He will later paint the letters by hand.
I asked Jon what tools he used. He showed me a mallet (people called it a Dummy Mallet) and a range of chisels.
What paint does he use?
In the past, lead paint was used in the industry, but now he only uses ordinary enamal paint.
Jon told me that he had double knee operations last year. The length of time he spends crouching and kneeling and working on awkward positions has certainly contributed to his knee problems.
Jon told me that one day he would like to be able to run his own business. Am I allowed to write this? I asked. “Yeah, my boss also knows about that!” Jon loves this old-fashioned trade.
Finally, I asked Jon what quality a stonemason needs to do this job well?
“‘Shut off,’ Jon said.
“You need to shut off from the rest of the world. I leave my mobile phone in the van. I don’t check my watch.”
“To do this job well you have to be extremely patient and focused.”
Here is a series of posts about Chandler’s Ford War Memorial published on Chandler’s Ford Today:
Post Series: Chandler’s Ford War Memorial Research, by Margaret Doores:
Chandler’s Ford War Memorial by Janet
- Remembrance Sunday In Chandler’s Ford 9 November 2014
- Re-dedication Of Chandler’s Ford War Memorial
- Chandler’s Ford War Memorial Rededication
- Story Of Chandler’s Ford War Memorial
- Renovating Chandler’s Ford War Memorial
Beyond The Sunset by Vic Gold