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Dry Stone Walling Courses For Beginners Or Improvers



Video Rating: three / 5

This video is essentially a series of still photographs and live-action footage depicting the various activities of the Darbyshire branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association. The Branch runs weekend courses for beginners as well as more capable improvers of drystone walling. The audio commentary features contributions from well known local wallers and instructors Sally Hodgson and Trevor Wragg.

Trevor begins by telling us how much he loves training others and passing on his skills to a new generation of drystone wallers. He adds that the walls are part of the landscape and heritage of the area and should, therefore, be preserved.

Sally Hodgson says that, although there is a bit of training involved in doing a wall properly, the skills are easy enough to pick up -- especially if you have a good instructor. Because some of the classes are mixed, with both beginners and more advanced stone wallers, the beginners can get to see a wide range of skills and techniques and, to a certain extent, see where they might end up if they continue along the path. She adds that you can always learn by watching other people, and the mixed classes gives the participants the opportunity to rub shoulders with other tutors rather than just taking things on your own.

Trevor says that one of the nicest experiences he's ever had was meeting up and working with a fellow colleague from his old junior school and teaching children ranging from between six and nine years old. The class went around to different locations each day for about a fortnight. He says that he gets such a thrill out of teaching kids and seeing their enthusiasm and adds that if anyone wants to become a waller they should first read some of the many books out there on the subject, and then do a training course to be taught the correct way on how to build a wall. If a student is not taught correctly then it can cause a few problems later on down the track. A proper training course with a qualified instructor helps to ensure that the student will learn the right techniques.

Sally says that the students end up working on projects that they wouldn't dream of working on beforehand. She adds that this stretches their imagination as well as helps boost their confidence as they learn new skills and this, in turn, benefits the instructors as well as they meet each challenge as they arise. Sally says that she's always learning and improving on her skills and doesn't become complacent at all. She adds that it helps to drive her on to bigger, or better, things.

Trevor first became interested in dry stone walling as a small child. He said that he sometimes helped out his dad by passing him stones as they built, or repaired, the walls on their property. When Trevor became a teenager his father said it was now time that Trevor began building his own walls. His first wall took quite some time and when it was finished his father inspected it, saying that it "looked fine" but needed to be "tested out" by having Trevor climb over it a couple of times. Once that was done his father then said that Trevor should be able to walk across the top of the wall without any part of it collapsing -- a task to which Trevor duly complied.

Trevor's father then went on to say that the most important part of any drystone wall was its foundations, and added that, as Trevor got older, the same would apply to his own life. Quite a profound statement really.

Anyone interested in learning more about the Derbyshire Branch of the Dry Stone Walling Association can check out their website at www.derbyshire-dswa.org.uk.



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One Response to Dry Stone Walling Courses For Beginners Or Improvers

  1. gumper5242 on December 15, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    Nice !

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