Thursday, 14 April 2011

Forest of Dean Blacksmith

Last weekend, Coleford was celebrating the life of Robert Mushet, ( 200 years since he was born) ,. Robert and his father perfected the Bessemer process of self-hardening steel, which made it possible to create strong railway tracks leading the boom in trains and the industrial Revolution. He was born in Coleford, worked in Whitecliff and then built Dark Hill Ironworks.You can find more information by clicking on the following link.

Unfortunately I missed the celebrations but my Dad and myself did visit Gareth Thomas a very good local Blacksmith working in Longhope near Mitcheldean. He produces beautiful traditional hand-forged ironwork and is passionate about his craft and it's history . We first met him at an event at Soudley Heritage Centre...he had to leave because they needed the space for storage or something like that...very shortsighted of Soudley, I think...Craftsmen like Gareth that are skilled, knowledgeable and are happy to talk about history are hard to come by The photos show examples of his gates...if you are interested in buying them or commissioning him his email address is  Between him and my Dad we talked all about the Forest industries including Horlicks ...Horlicks malted milk was also born in the Forest of dean. James and William Horlick came up with the recipe at their parents home in Ruadean. They then took their recipe to Chicago where it was produced and eventually sent back to England. The Malthouse in Ruadean is still there. Apparently Horlicks is very fashionable now and can be ordered in the Private bar of the Embassy Club...if you're into that sort of place !...guess what Ribena is bottled in Coleford Too !
I have opened a shop on Etsy

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