2023-11-29T12:44:00Z By Grumpy Group Organiser
A new working forge has been installed at Blists Hill Victorian Town in Shropshire to allow visitors to be transported back to the 1880s to watch the traditional craft in action.
Made completely from cast iron, the 1880s William Allday & Co Blacksmiths Forge was manufactured in Stourport-on-Severn before taking up its new residence in the blacksmith’s workshop at the attraction in the Ironbridge Gorge.
An accurate reimagination of Victorian life is what Blists Hill is known for and the addition of this new asset helps bring to life the types of industries that were prevalent during the Victorian era.
Jack Sampson, resident blacksmith at Blists Hill, said: “We are so grateful to have the new forge here. Being able to demonstrate how blacksmiths work in a functioning workshop is such a fun and valuable asset to the museum.”
“Being able to show visitors exactly how a workshop of this era would have been and how blacksmiths operated is so valuable. I have been blacksmithing since I was 12 and the new forge is going to enable me to continue that passion.”
Justin Tose, director of visitor engagement at Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust, said: “This new forge is really important to the visitor experience here at Blists Hill. It gives visitors the chance to take in all the sights and sounds that would have been commonplace had you walked through the town during the 19th century.”
A historical installation
The forge is one of the first forges manufactured by William Allday & Co before the company merged with John C Onions in 1885, creating the better-known company of Allday and Onions Birmingham.
Just before the two companies merged, William Allday & Co was forced to cease the manufacture of cast iron forges as demand significantly fell, opting instead to manufacture bike frames.
Benefits for groups visiting Blists Hill Victorian Village include discounted admission rates for 15 and more, free entry for the group organiser and coach driver, free familiarisation visit for two adults when you book a group visit and catering options.
For more information about group visits, go to www.ironbridge.org.uk