Top industry honour for Keynsham stonemason Paul Maggs
Published on: 05 Feb 2016
A stonemason from Keynsham who has worked on some of the country’s most treasured landmarks – and once met the Queen by falling from a lorry – is being honoured for his dedication to his craft.
Bath College stonemasonry lecturer Paul Maggs will be presented with The Master Craftsman’s Certificate by The Worshipful Company of Masons next month.
Paul, 58, followed in both his grandfather and father’s footsteps when he began training with G Williams and Sons in Bath as a teenager.
After an apprenticeship at the City of Bath Technical College, he went on to work at Wells Cathedral.
With a career that spans 42 years, Paul has worked on many restoration projects, including the Swallow Royal Hotel in Bristol (now Marriott Royal), Swindon Town Hall and Windsor Castle Round Tower.
It was while working at the castle that Paul had an unplanned brush with royalty.
“I met the Queen when I was working at Windsor Castle, not in any formal situation, but she saw me fall off a lorry and went to make sure I was all right,” he said.
“There was nothing broken, just a couple bruises. I bounced up off the floor and said I was fine.
“I used to see a lot of the country and there were always challenges to overcome, it was never boring.
“Some people think stonemasonry is a dying trade, but it’s definitely not. Over the last five years there’s been a big explosion in the use of natural stone in Bath.
“The best thing about being a stonemason is the job you do will be there for the rest of your life.”
Paul became a work-based trainer at Bath College in 2005 before being appointed stonemasonry lecturer in 2007.
He will receive his award at a black tie event at the Fishmonger’s Hall in London on February 15.
Paul said: “It’s almost like you’re at the top of your trade. It’s just about the highest accolade you can get in the industry.
“I was really chuffed to be nominated, I didn’t expect it to be honest with you. Normally I just keep my head down and get on with what I do.”
Daisy Walsh, head of technology at Bath College, said: “I am extremely proud of Paul’s achievement. This top accolade is testament to Paul’s dedication to the craft.
“Bath College is honoured to have such talented teacher on our stonemasonry team. This means our students are set high expectations and benefit from experts in their field.”