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Michael Coggins, of Ingleton, is crowned Yorkshire walling champion
10:00am Sunday 6th October 2013 in News
It was a case of third time lucky for Ingleton man Michael Coggins, who has been crowned the new CLA Yorkshire dry stone walling champion.
Having entered the biennial competition twice before and coming a close second two years ago, the 55-year-old went one better this time, impressing judges with 10 metres of dry stone wall he had built near Horton-in-Ribblesdale.
“I am absolutely thrilled to have finally won this competition,” said Michael. “I’ve been a waller for 27 years and this has been the only competition that I’ve ever really been interested in winning.” His winning wall was built for farmer Mark Wilson at Gill Garth Farm, Selside. Standing on a precarious rock-edge and measuring over seven feet high, it took five days to complete and involved shifting between 18 and 20 tonnes of stone.
Despite the challenging terrain, judges were impressed with the exceptionally high build quality and the remarkably straight lines that Michael managed to achieve.
Head judge John Pridmore said: “The quality of the build was exceptional. The wall was very tight despite having to use irregular limestone. We tested many stones and couldn’t pull any out.” CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: “Michael is a master of his craft and one of the unsung guardians of our beloved Yorkshire landscapes. He is a most worthy winner of this award.”
The competition – held in association with the Yorkshire Dry Stone Walling Guild – recognises and rewards the people behind the miles of distinctive walls that define Yorkshire’s famous land- scapes.
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