At the same time as setting up Clive Elsdon Building Design, Clive Elsdon began to learn how to build traditional Dry Stone Walls at Peter Dent’s Training Centre in Hamsterley. Shortly after that he achieved his Lantra Level 1, or Dry Stone Walling Association Initial, certificate in Dry Stone Walling. Strait away he began his training for the level two, as well as completing a couple of walls, including a curved one, for a local farm. Today was the third time Clive was scheduled to take the test, the first two times being cancelled because of adverse weather conditions.
The Level 2 test involves taking down and re-building a 2.5m² section of dry stone wall, which includes a wall end, in seven hours. Typically, the test today was plagued by rain, and the ground turn to mud,. The wall was up to through stone level by lunch time, so despite the rain, still on track for completion in the allotted time! After lunch, the weather seamed to ease, and the ground began to dry out, it was even sunny as the wall was brought to course at the top ready for the coping stones. With about 10 minutes to spare, the coping stones were added, checked and the wall was finished.
As there is only just enough time to finish the wall, the photographs in this post were taken during training, rather than during the test!
The next stage will be to complete the Lantra Level 3 or Dry Stone Walling Association Advanced certificate. This involves building a curved wall and a feature such as a “lunky”, which is a wall with an opening in it at low level to a very high standard. This stage has to be passed before candidates can go on to complete the test by building 4.5m² of dry stone retaining wall in seven hours!