Whilst I will directly represent the interests of the 2 Welsh Branches I will also ensure that the problems and issues which often affect all the smaller Branches and/or more remote branches and members are addressed in order that the Association can progress as a whole. I believe that in order to develop the Association needs to develop inter-branch relationships whilst embracing both professional and amateur members. I have a passion for all things dry stone, their preservation and promotion. Dry stone walling is my hobby, it's what I do when I'm not at work, it is just a happy coincidence that I earn my living from balancing stones in (I hope) some sort of structural way.
Education in all its forms: training, media, promotion; should be key in an organisation which strives to "preserve, improve and advance education in the craft of dry stone walling for the benefit of the public". The development of the Association's web presence needs to be more dynamic, as does the updating and extension of current printed literature. The Association leads the way in the production of literature on walling but its basic approach has become stultified. The Association's Membership houses a wealth of knowledge and should tap this and positively encourage and fund initiatives in this direction in order to promote itself and the craft as a whole whilst also providing a valuable resource and service for its members both in information media and training.
The development of the internet has made the world a much smaller place and the development of the DSWA needs to reflect this, not only with improving its online image and services but also by learning from and contributing to the development of like minded individuals and organisations around the world.
Training and development of both amateur and professional should be key areas for DSWA involvement. A dynamic approach is required in order that the association can serve its members and the craft in general in this area. The association needs to develop its contribution to these areas. The current instructors course has an outstanding reputation, but the Association should be doing much more and could learn much from overseas organisations which run a variety of symposia and workshops for wallers of all abilities covering a range of skills. For example in recent years the Stone Foundation in America has run workshops with experts from Japan teaching their method of Japanese castle stonework, and an international workshop with instructors from 4 countries instructing four very different construction techniques from Wales to Mallorca via Canada and Ireland. There is huge scope for the development of the teaching of regional skills and techniques from around the UK and the rest of the world.
The Ambleside Congress of 2010 showed that the Association is more than capable of holding a critically acclaimed international event. We should be doing more of this, not necessarily on the scale of Ambleside, but we really should make more use, and provide more opportunities for the wealth of talent at our disposal in order to promote the craft in all its facets to the benefit of our membership, the wider walling community and the public in general.
In order to promote walling effectively we need to promote standards and education to the benefit of all. Key to this is the continued development and promotion of the Craftsman Certification scheme to ensure its relevance, accessibility and widespread acceptance. In addition the association needs to develop an effective policy regarding the promotion and instigation of standards. This will not be easy as there are no obvious or easy solutions to the problems we face in this area, but we have to at least begin to try and move forward.
50 (or 51 depending when you read this) year old. Self employed, walling full time since late 1980s. Master Craftsman since 1993. Competed in almost 100 competitions since ealy 90s winning a few. City & Guilds qualifications in coaching and assessment. DSWA Examiner. Before walling I graduated from Southampton University with a BA in Modern History and Politics. Following graduation I decided to have a gap year working as a full time volunteer with British Trust for Conservation Volunteers in North Wales. It's been a very long year. Since starting walling I have also gained a Diploma in Mathematics from the Open University as well as 'sausage fingers'.
Co-Author of BTCV's "Dry Stone Walling" having re-written and added to all the original publications technical content. Regular contributor to Waller and Dyker, in a couple of guises. Contribtuing editor "Stonechat" magazine. When I'm not building walls I'm usually writing or talking about them, reading about them or photographing them in UK and abroad. Building walls, and an understanding Brenda, provide the funds to indulge my all consuming hobby. Administrator of DSWA web site discussion pages. Webmaster of 3 sites... www.dswales.org.uk, www.dry-stone.co.uk and www.wallingwonderland.info - the latter being the web version of the Waller and Dyker series "Britain and Ireland's Walling Treasures" which features as a talk "Inscriptions on the Landscape" which I am fortunate to have been invited to give around Britain and North America - when not talking about my favourite subject - the stone structures of the North Wales slate industry.
Current Secretary of North Wales Branch, North Wales Branch Representative to Management Committee, DSWA Pinnacle Award Co-ordinator and tasked with investigating the potential development of DSWA Archive. I'd like to think cricket's loss has been walling's gain (yes there is actually more to life than walling, but only just).
DSWA TRUSTEE ELECTION
THUMBNAIL SKETCH ACCOMPANYING SEAN ADCOCK'S NOMINATION
Nominated by Ceri Jenkins (Chairman South Wales); Seconder: Colin Brown (Treasurer North Wales)
Management Committee member since February 2010, pinnacle award co-ordinator, master craftsman and examiner. Priorities include strengthening Association's educational role, with particular regard to standards, certification, training, web and printed material. Broad knowledge of walling, wallers and issues, with work, training, testing, competing, talking and research taking me around UK, Ireland and North America. Led North Wales Branch to 2009 and 2010 Small Branch of Year awards and will do my utmost to ensure the interests of smaller Branches and far flung members are represented. Co-author BTCV's "Dry Stone Walling", editor "Stonechat", "Waller and Dyker" columnist. More at www.dswales.org.uk/news