Geoff Taylor, chairman of the Friends of Chain Bridge Forge, traces his life through five pictures.
Geoff says since he retired, the forge has “taken over my life”. He describes the museum as a mixture of blacksmithing tradition, local history through the website southhollandlife.com and innovation through 3D printing and (coming soon) a blacksmith virtual simulator.
Geoff was born in 1946 in Sidcup, Kent, and spent a very happy childhood, with his Nan living next door. He says: “I was quite a bonny chap even in those days.”
Geoff went to local schools in Sidcup, but found it a struggle. He says: “When I left school I got an apprenticeship with AEI Woolwich and this was the best education I had. It seemed to have relevance and I enjoyed it and learnt a huge amount.”
Geoff and Shirley married in 1969 and have two boys and five grandchildren. A large part of Geoff’s spare time has been taken up with voluntary work, whether building a scout hall, with Lions serving the community, or Chain Bridge Forge. He and Shirley are pictured at an award event – Geoff aged about 50 during a rare time in his adult life when he didn’t have a beard!
Geoff pictured when the forge won the local Business Award Community Category.
Work has been an important part of Geoff’s life. He worked for Marconi, creating Head up displays for aircraft such as F16, C17 and Typhoon. This role took him all over the world and broadened his mind. He says it was a “fantastic experience”. He had further roles at Marconi Research, BACS/Vocalink and South Holland District Council. He is now retired. Geoff is pictured here with his boss at General Dynamics in America when they received an award.