Teenager secures fourth win in a row at Durham Dry Stone Walling Competition

Event was organised by Durham County Council and Beamish Museum, as part of the latter's Festival of Agriculture

Adam Lowson (centre) won the amateur category at this years Durham Dry Stone Walling Competition
Adam Lowson (centre) won the amateur category at this years Durham Dry Stone Walling Competition

A talented teenager helping to keep a traditional rural industry alive has made it four in a row after landing another win at this year’s Durham Dry Stone Walling Competition.

Adam Lowson secured first place in the amateur category of the contest, which is organised by Durham County Council and Beamish Museum.

His victory is all the more significant as he works full-time as an apprentice chef at the Cross Keys pub in Hamsterley, near Bishop Auckland, where he lives.

It means the 17-year-old has now scooped first place in each of the last four years he has entered the competition.

Adam initially won the novice category in 2011 at the age of 14 and then again in 2012, before claiming top prize in the tougher amateur section in 2013, where he came up against much more experienced wallers.

This year’s event attracted competitors of all abilities, vying for the walling trophy as well as cash prizes of up to £125.

Three classes – open, amateur and novice – were held, seeing competitors stripping and rebuilding 1.5m of wall in six hours to the correct specification.

Rules were strictly enforced, with marks awarded for the quality of foundations, cope stones, batter - that is, the shape of the wall - and straightness.

Judges said the standard this year was excellent with a host of top wallers on display.

Eventually, though, it was Gordon Simpson, a professional waller from Harrogate, who was named overall champion and winner of the open category.

Mr Simpson also secured victory in the best coping stones competition.

The event was held at Beamish Museum as part of its Festival of Agriculture, aimed at celebrating the agricultural sector and rural heritage of the North East.

Rebecca Beeston, landscape officer at Durham County Council, said: “Congratulations to all the competitors and winners in this year’s competition, which saw an impressive range of entries once again.

“Special mention must also go to local lad Adam who continues to prove his outstanding ability in the field of dry stone walling by achieving yet another brilliant victory.

“We are also delighted that Beamish Museum hosted the competition again.

“Dry stone walls are an important feature of the County Durham landscape and through these competitions we are able to not only help to keep these traditional skills alive but also celebrate excellence and quality craftsmanship.”

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