Blacksmiths have a rare chance to ply their trade from a living history museum in Spalding – and to save it from closure.
Geoff Taylor, from the Friends of Chain Bridge Forge, revealed in a letter to our sister paper, The Spalding Guardian, that the possible risk of the forge paying business rates could force it to close.
That risk hangs over the forge at a time when it has lost its working blacksmith and is relying on old hand Chris Hammond.
Geoff said: “Chris is 70 and blacksmithing isn’t an older man’s activity.”
He says the forge needs a blacksmith or blacksmiths to come in to give it an income, which would save the day.
Geoff said: “It would be great to find another blacksmith or maybe two of three of them to put them together.”
He says directors of the forge have had to put their hands in their own pockets when money is needed.
Geoff is unhappy the district council didn’t give the forge S106 cash when it asked for around £10,000 to help ease commercial pressure and cash flow, update its website and upgrade innovation facilities that inspire young people.
He spent last year generating work for the forge.
“At the moment I am having to turn work away,” he said. “The forge would close if we can’t get money coming in that pays our day-to-day bills.”
The forge runs South Holland Life website and is involved in innovative projects, including creating oral histories and helping dementia sufferers. Blacksmiths can call Geoff on 07960 587724.
• Email your views to lynne.harrison@iliffe publishing.co.uk