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Stone Masonry
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In 1953 when Ron O'Connor was 15, he became an Indentured Stonemason Apprentice, with the South Western Stone Company, where his Grandfather had worked. His father and two Uncles still worked there. He was trained as a Banker Mason, and then spent time outside Fixing, before returning to work in the Setting-out Shop, progressing to the Drawing Office as a Draughtsman. He attended the Hammersmith College of Building, Arts and Crafts. During his apprenticeship he obtained; 1st class Intermediate Certificate, 1st class Final Certificate, 1st class Full Technological Certificate of the City & Guilds Institute. He won many Trade and School prizes, culminating in First Place in the National Apprentice Competitions at Olympia London. In 1958 he was conscripted into the Royal Engineers. In 1960 he returned and continued to work for the South Western Stone Company, in the drawing office. Masons were being made redundant, and the future of new stone buildings was in doubt. He decided to widen his experience, and reluctantly left the stone industry to concentrate on Architecture. He joined the Architects Department of a major contractor, as an Architectural Assistant. He later moved to other National contractors and held positions in Design and Technical Management. He also worked with an Architect in Private Practice. He became an Associate Member of The Royal Institute of British Architects. RIBA. The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists, The Construction Surveyors Institute. Ron then discovered that the Stone Industry was enjoying a revival. A lot of restoration work was required. So he decided to rejoin the industry. He re-established contacts with old colleagues, and was welcomed back into the trade. He spent the time up to his retirement and beyond, working as a Mason, Surveyor, Draughtsman and Consultant to the Industry.

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