Stonemason urges young people to carve careers

Harry Marshall of stonemason's in Leven 'Set in Stone'
Harry Marshall of stonemason's in Leven 'Set in Stone'
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A Leven-based stonemason wants to encourage young people in the area to get out and do what they really want after enjoying a successful career himself.

Harry Marshall (31) was lucky enough to be given a stonemason’s apprenticeship with Historic Scotland at the age of 15.

“I was fed up with school, and thinking about going to art college when my dad spotted an advert in the paper for an apprentice stonemason and one for a joiner too. I applied for them both, and I didn’t even know what a stonemason did, but a month later I got invited to an interview.”

After impressing them with his get-go attitude, Harry was hired, and stayed with Historic Scotland for six years, working on the Millenium Project and the resoration of Linlithgow palace fountain during his time there.

After that, he was offered a teaching fellowship at the Scottish Lime Centre Trust in Charleston, which helped him to further his skills and knowledge.

But feeling he could do more, and keen to be his own boss, he set out on his own, and with the help of family, was able to get his business, Set in Stone, which became a limited business last year, off the ground in 2008.

“Because of the circumstances, I left the fellowship with nothing, had no job, had to go on Jobseekers, and thought I’d give it a try.

“I was totally penniless, but I took out small adverts, and with the help of family, got myself a wee van. I did small jobs, and through word of mouth, got more.”

Harry now has requests from as far as Aberdeen and Glasgow, and if things continue to go well, will be looking to take someone on next year.

“I’ve been through a lot and learned a lot. You read about people out of work and on the dole, but hopefully if young people see this, they will see they can go out and do what they really want to do.”