Country Living Magazine recognise Ickleton builder in artisan competition
A BUILDER has been recognised for his traditional skills which are helping to preserve one of the region s architectural features. Ickleton-based bricklayer Andrew Hoare, who has a passion for flint walling, was named as runner-up artisan of the year in n
A BUILDER has been recognised for his traditional skills which are helping to preserve one of the region's architectural features.
Ickleton-based bricklayer Andrew Hoare, who has a passion for flint walling, was named as runner-up artisan of the year in national competition.
Having worked on flint walls across the area including Ickleton, Hinxton, Great Chesterford and Littlebury, Mr Hoare fears that his skill is a "dying art".
"Traditional skills such as flint walling are not really being taught anymore, and it's a time when they are needed most," he said.
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"The lifespan of many flint walls is coming to an end and there are buildings, churches and walls that are deteriorating.
"You need people with the right skills to repair these walls - it's no where near as easy as laying a brick, and a lot of people find that hard."
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After applying his trade for more than 10 years Mr Hoare is playing a critical part in preserving Britain's built heritage, said judges at Country Living Magazine's The Balvenie Artisan Awards.
Harriet Knight, from the Awards, said: "Andrew should be very proud of being runner-up in this category as it is the most hotly contended in the awards and attracts hundreds of entries from The UK's most skilled craftspeople."
Originally trained as a builder, Mr Hoare has seen his interest in old buildings grow over the years and has worked on many major projects such as Hinxton Hall. He has worked across East Anglia which has a rich heritage in the flint walling.
"I've tackled many difficult walls that look like they should have fallen down," said Mr Hoare. "Ideally, once the work is finished, you shouldn't be able to tell where the repair has been done."
Starting in Scotland, The Balvenie Artisan Awards were created to recognise individuals and businesses that use traditional crafts and skills. Mr Hoare, and all of the winners, are featured in the November issue of Country Living Magazine.