A BLACKBURN stonemason has won an award for his work in the community – from the American monumental builders association.

Brent Stevenson was given the award on his recent visit to the Monument Builders of North America’s (MBNA) conference in Charlotte, North Carolina.


And stunned Mr Stevenson said he had only entered the award, using clippings of Lancashire Telegraph reports of his civil projects, to bolster relations between stonemasons in the UK and US.

Mr Stevenson said: “I go over to America to visit the MBNA as they do things a bit different and I like to get new ideas.

“I am part of the National Association of Memorial Masons and we are trying to do more together.

“The MBNA has a conference every year and an Aspire Award which is for work in the community.

“I thought I would apply for it but I never thought I would win. I was mainly doing it to forge the links between our association and theirs.

“I think it was the volume of work we have carried out that won it for us.”

Mr Stevenson was presented with a granite obelisk but was unable to bring it home immediately.

He said: “I am waiting for it to be shipped home so I haven’t been able to hold it on English soil.”

Projects Mr Stevenson has helped with include repairing damaged gravestones, creating war memorials, designing memorial plaques and also creating replacement ‘blue plaques’ for notable former Blackburn residents including Jack Walker.

And Mr Stevenson said it was the community work that he really enjoyed doing.

He said: “It all happened by chance at first. We fixed some of the memorials in Darwen Cemetery that had been knocked over and people kept thanking us.

“It felt great to be doing some work in the community so we started looking for projects we could get involved with.

“I check the Lancashire Telegraph every day to see if there is anything we can help with.

“It was nice to be recognised.”