With the (hopefully) continued cautious reopening the public places in England, it seemed like a good time to do a refresh of our Blacksmiths pubs list.
The good news is that almost all the pubs on our list appear to be staying open.
Some of the pubs appear to have taken the decision to rebuild or refresh their websites – some now have websites were before they didn’t have ones. There will continue to be hard times ahead for English pubs, but it is heartening that almost all on our list appear to be taking hold of the challenges that the post-Covid will bring.
Testing your strength, skill, dexterity and discipline against some hot metal might show a whole new side to your wife, husband, sibling, mother, father, daughter, son or good friend.
Peter will discuss what you’d like to do on a Blacksmith Forging Experience – he’ll be happy to put a bit more challenge into the day and will keep an eye on how participants are coping with all the aspects of the day.
Some alternatives to making a small knife might be a fire poker, decorative heart, flower, toasting fork, bottle opener or a bird feeder hook.
We’ve had all kinds of two, three or four person forging experiences, here are some of our people combinations:
mothers and school age sons
husbands and wives
dads and sons (youngest son was aged 7, we have lots of teens and adult sons)
dads and son-in-laws
daughters and dads
bridegrooms and best men
mum, dad, daughter & son
dads, sons & son-in-laws
Just some of the hammers available for use on a Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience
School age sons and a mum
On a recent forging experience a mother came along with a 13 year old and 9 year old son. They were surprising fast and coordinated with sequential hammering, where two or more people hammer a piece of hot metal, standing in a circle around the anvil. It’s a very efficient way of getting the most out of a ‘heat’. Each second that the metal is out of the forge sees it cooling and becoming less able to be shaped.
A daughter booked a forging experience for herself and her dad. The daughter knew her dad would love it as he was a massive fan of Forged in Fire, the American tv series, he’d spent his working life as an engineer.
Book a Forging Experience just to watch, learn and talk.
Since an early age Peter has been absorbing all aspects of weapon making, sword, axe, bow and arrow history.
If discussing all aspects of metalworking while watching a knife (which you’d take home with you), being formed using heat, skill and strength sounds like a pretty good way to spend a few hours, book a voucher – or put in a gift request with your family to book a Petefire Blacksmith Forging Experience.
You can book to see the hot metal action and discuss metalworking.
Enjoyable – whatever age you are
An older couple booked a two day forging experience – with the intention of forging house numbers and a small knife. They spent a bit of the first day using the hammers, although the woman realised that swinging the hammers was hard for her to manage.
After discussion with Peter they chose to spend the rest of their forging experience watching the process and discussing and directing the development of the their house numbers and knife.
Although they only spent some of their time doing the physical activity, the couple still had a very enjoyable time and went away with much more knowledgeable about metalworking, its history and the blacksmithing process.
Dad and son forge something different
A woman phone with a specific request for a forging experience. They’d bought a wooden trellis for their garden, but had cut it in half at the top to make it wide enough to fit in with their plans for the garden layout.
Her question was – could she book a forging experience for her husband to metalwork two horizontal bars, strong enough to hold the two sides of their trellis in position.
Peter was very happy to tailor the forging experience to be able to make the trellis bar, and made sure that there was metal that would do the job beforehand.
The dad had been an engineer and really enjoyed being a hands-on part of a different and ancient kind of engineering for a day – they also finished in time to get back for the start of the football!
Buy a voucher for one or more than one – it’ll be good either way
You can have a great one person forging experience, and all our people who come of their own have really enjoyed the day. People who come with one, two or more people also have an excellent time, as Peter will discuss all aspects of historic and modern blacksmithing and metalworking.
If you want to buy a voucher for more than one person, we’re pretty certain that everyone will have a really good day, with some excellent comradeship and maybe a bit of competition too.
My connections are with Watford – that’s where I spent my first years until I was 13, we then moved to Abbots Langley. Until spring 2020 my forge was in Bushey, Herts. The new forge is in Chiswell Green – on the outskirts of St Albans, so I’ll be getting to know St Albans a bit more.
We keen to develop local links
We’re keen to make connections with the local community, and want to be identified as a Chiswell Green business. We’ll also be visiting local businesses over the next for weeks to introduce the forge.
Over time we would like Chiswell Green people to become proud that there’s a blacksmith forge in their area.
My work comes from Watford, Hemel Hempstead and St Albans and the surrounding towns and villages.
In the wider area, it also comes from south west Herts, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and north London.
I’m happy to work for people and businesses from anywhere.
I’m proud to now be a St Albans blacksmith! I’m not forgetting Watford & Hemel Hempstead.
Smoke, sparks and flames filled the November night air as Watford’s elected Mayor, Peter Taylor lit the 100th Anniversary Armistice Day fire beacon at the south end of Watford Museum’s front garden.
The Watford Armistice Day beacon lighting was one of over 1,000 lit throughout the UK at 7pm on Sunday 11th November to commemorate the end of the darkness of the First World War and a return to peace.
Petefire Artist Blacksmith was commissioned to forge Watford’s Armistice beacon by Watford Borough Council. Sarah Kerenza Priestly, curator of Watford Museum said, ‘Watford Museum is proud to support local artists and businesses.’
Peter helped on the evening by filling the Armistice Day beacon with wood, and a couple of strategically placed firelighters with a generous layer of wood shavings near the bottom, Petefire also loaned a decorative forged lighting stick, with paraffin-soaked Kevlar.
Watford’s fire station is just across the road on Watford’s Lower High Street and very kindly loaned a long ladder to assist with lighting the beacon – they commented that their job was to put fires out – not to help light them!
Peter Williamson said, ‘We are very proud to have been commissioned to design and make the fire beacon.’
The beacon will be stored along with it’s wooden pole for future commemorative events in Watford.
Two Peters – Peter Williamson with Watford’s Elected Mayor Peter Taylor