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Festival highlighting Teesdale's stone sector is underway at Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
CELEBRATING STONE: Festival director Ewan Allinson (second left) gets to work with visiting sculptors Russell Coleman (left) Richard Perry and Nick Hornby.
A TWO-week festival celebrating all aspects of stone began today (Friday, October 19).
The Stone Festival, which is based in the grounds of Bowes Museum and venues around Barnard Castle, County Durham, features everything from sculpture to stone skimming across the River Tees.
Sculptor and festival director Ewan Allinson said: “The stone sector in Teesdale is stronger than anywhere else in the country, from large quarries to very successful stonemason businesses and dry stone wallers.
“Part of the point of the festival is to show to the UK that this is a stone-mad part of the world and that anyone who is doing a big project with stone should think of Teesdale both for stone and skills.
“By doing this, you open up this market to local firms and craftsmen. This is a sector that is strong here but could be supporting a lot more jobs than it does,” he added.
Throughout the festival, three visiting sculptors – Nick Hornby, Richard Perry and Russ Coleman – will be creating pieces of work and they will be joined by local masons and sculptors in the grounds of Bowes Museum.
Visitors will get the chance to have a go with a mallet and chisel and other highlights include a strongman challenge in which the ancient art of feat stone lifting is being revived.
Full details of all Stone Festival activities are available online at www.stonefestival.wordpress.com