WORK is set to begin on Kirkcaldy’s historic Path House building and the work has been entrusted to a local family firm with a long tradition in stonemasonry.
Colin Sweeney (51) is the master stonemason who has been given the job of restoring the A-listed 17th century building which has been a medical practice since 1993, and it’s a skill that Colin learned at a very early age. “I started when I was seven!” he said. “My grandfather and my father were also stonemasons and it was their way of getting me used to things when I was young.
“I did the same with my own son, Levi. He’s 24 now and works with me and is a highly skilled stonemason in his own right.”
Colin worked in the family business before going it alone 10 years ago. The firm is Glenrothes-based but works all over Fife and beyond.
He said: “It’s an extremely skilled trade and you’re never short of work. I’ve worked at incredible places like Edinburgh and Stirling castles and at St Andrews University.”
Colin is looking forward to working at Path House, said: “It’s really old and needs some structural work done. It’s a bit tired looking at the moment.”
For Colin one of his proudest achievements in his long career was being congratulated in the Scottish Parliament last year for work carried out on the restoration of the Falkland Wall. MSP Roderick Campbell tabled a motion saying that the Parliament: “...congratulates the work of the stonemason, Colin Sweeney, who was tasked with rebuilding the 20-metre stretch of wall.”
Colin said: “That was amazing. I couldn’t believe it!”
As well as the Path House, Colin has jobs coming up in Elie High St and Muirhead and Kilry churches.
“I really enjoy it,” he said. “It’s challenging and specialised and we have a unique place in the market.
Colin says such is the nature of a stonemason’s work that the current poor state of the economy hasn’t affected him.
He said: “Our order book is very healthy and to be honest I’m looking to take people on because we’re so busy it’s left us short-staffed.’’
“I love my work and I’m very lucky.”