The front cover of this year’s Men of the Stones yearbook may give you a clue that something is afoot. Now you have turned the first few pages you can see that we have a new look, a new cover, more business and heritage related stories and even more colour. This is my second season of editing your fascinating Yearbook and Directory, and under the guidance of your forward looking chairman, Carl Edwards, we have tried to publish something more appropriate in these times of rapid change.
Using lessons learnt from many years in book, newspaper and magazine publishing, I hope you approve of what I imagine many of you think to be a major leap forward. Of course, we won’t stop here. You will also note on this page that there is a new Men of the Stones logo, specially commissioned to reflect heritage craftsmanship, which this organisation so fondly fosters. The image of the mason working on a complicated piece of stone was shot at an Orton Trust training session.
I also hope you approve of the Yearbooks colour pages, which the MOS Committee felt would bring a new modern pace and feel to your annual publication, which still contains important topics like Minutes, AGM reports, accounts and details of Stone Training Centres and a comprehensive list of Business members.
Over the past months I have tried to visit a wide range of businesses associated with, and who support the Men of the Stones. I hope you enjoy reading the stories of the companies, which are the lifeblood of the heritage industry. I have enjoyed watching and photographing masons skilfully working stone, letter cutters forming fabulous memorials, quarrymen digging out the basic materials and visiting some of the grandest houses in the country, which reflect our deep appreciation of the skills of the artisans who raise such wonderful buildings from the ground.
It is early days yet, but your committee have also given the go ahead for a new look website. The site will grow and will become a members and visitors quick access point to The Men of the Stones. The beauty of it is it can be updated quickly to give easy to find information at the touch of a button.