The high life of stonemason James Preston

The impact had shattered the churchyard path. Chunks of asphalt and mortar lay in the surrounding grass. Just next to the path, like a broken chess piece, lay the remnants of the church’s 150-year-old spire. A few hours earlier, it had stood at the very top of the church, towering over the churchyard. Mercifully, the Victorian construction had fallen to earth rather than through the church roof. For reasons now lost, St Thomas’ in Wells is one of the very few English churches with a spire to the north-east corner. The list of people one can call for such emergencies is not long. In the event it was 37-year-old James