Forge

  • Chain Bridge Forge

Chain Bridge Forge opened its door as Museum in Sept 2012.

Resident Blacksmith David Baynes

Chris Hammond hands over the reigns of Blacksmithing to David believes in keeping the old tradition of Blacksmithing alive and is keen to pass on his skills to future generations. So why not come and have a taster experience or make a coat hook. Children are also welcome.

His work also embraces a modern context and he likes to show this in the items he makes.

David is keen to take on commissions large or small. He will also produce items like Gates, Railings,
House Plaques, Candle holders etc so why not come to the Forge and let him explain his craft.

David is the latest in proud tradition of Blacksmiths at Chain Bridge Forge which dates back to the mid 1700’s. Click on the menu to the righthand of the screen to find out more about these Blacksmiths.

If you would like to visit us read the page called About Us

 

14 thoughts on “Forge

  1. Andy Saunders
    November 5, 2014 at 8:10 am

    I was priviledged enough to be shown round the forge in about 2008 I think it would have been, before the restoration happened. Ive always been interested in how the Blacksmiths of times past got metal to do what they wanted, so I picked Geoff’s brains about things like tempering – he mentioned heating the metal to a “grey like a pigeons’ breast”…his Dad told him that, I suppose that’s how the knowledge was passed down. Hazel sticks were used too in some way, maybe hammered into the metal. There was a cracked bagatelle board on the floor, a slate one, he and his dad had tried to move it I think he said, or maybe his Grandfather…but it had cracked and I hope its still there somewhere. Upstairs were the batteries and charger, people would come and have their radio batteries charged. Of course my Dad and his sister Shirley, and their Mum and Dad, the Saunders’ lived at 39 high street throughout the second war, my dad would tell me all about what it was like living there. High Street really was a little community, and Geoff Dodd and his family, including the Blacksmiths shop, were at the centre.My Dad will have heaps of stories about those times. Ill get him to write something too. He knew the Seatons well, and I knew I think their Granddaughter Phillipa or Pip, as we both went to St Johns Primary.
    I was going to see with Geoff about getting the ball rolling regarding renovating the Blacksmiths – all my life id gone by and seen it just sitting there in a time warp, kind of salted away. Just after I met Geoff I was offered a job in New Zealand though, and I havnt been back since. I was really pleased to see that all of you had done such a great job of getting the place going again, I hope it stays operational for years – its so important that it does, and what a credit to everyone involved. My Dad John Saunders told me of Geoffs; passing – well, its another chapter in Spaldings’ history close I suppose. But what a great tribute to him that the Smithy is going. Geoff was a real gentleman, a top bloke. Im pleased to have shook his hand and to have made his acquaintance.
    Andy Saunders, Gisborne, NZ

    1. Geoff Taylor
      November 5, 2014 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Andy for your lovely memories and look forward to the stories
      Regards
      Geoff

  2. November 12, 2014 at 9:29 pm

    I would like to extend my hearty thanks to the blokes who had my two daughters and myself making our own coat hooks today. An excellent experience that will be treasured. We will be back again in the future o learn more.

    1. November 13, 2014 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you for the feedback, its all much appreciated. Am pleased you all had a good time at the Forge and we look forward to seeing you again soon.

  3. chris grindle
    December 13, 2015 at 2:20 am

    I’m an American that has become very interested in historical blacksmithing, especially English smithing. I have just acquired a very old “hill” anvil. I believe it was made in Birmingham in the 1800’s. Is this a rare find or something that I can use to practice my metal work? On another note my daughter’s graduation present is a trip to England and we plan to make a stop into your forge!!

    1. Geoff Taylor
      December 13, 2015 at 10:00 am

      Hi Chris

      Lovely to get your email and you have improved my knowledge as i didn’t know about “Old Hill” Some of the anvils in the Forge date from this period and i wonder if they are “Old Hill” I will take some pictures and send them to you.
      We would love you to come and visit and get you to have a go. We try and get all the children that come to the forge to make a coat hook with the Blacksmith.
      So when you have your travel plans sorted let us know and we will be delighted to see you.
      Regards
      Geoff Taylor

    1. Geoff Taylor
      January 29, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      Thanks for the link
      Regards
      Geoff Taylor

  4. Mike George
    October 28, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    As a Spaldonian of more than 50 years’ standing, but now an exile in the far north of Scotland for the last 20 years, I was delighted to discover that Chain Bridge Forge has been made into a living, working museum, and I really do admire the skill of Will Pegram – a worthy successor to Jim and Geoff Dodd.
    My association with the forge began when I was a pupil at the Willesby School. I stayed with the Willesby in spite of the fact we had moved to the other side of the town, so I crossed Chain Bridge daily on my way home. I was fascinated with what went on at the forge, and often used to stop and watch Jim Dodd at work. Jim was a law unto himself as far as his work space was concerned, and if anything was too big to drag indoors, he would work on it in the middle of High Street.
    One day I recall watching him make a welding repair on a large piece of farm machinery out in the street, when a policeman hove into view. I was sure Jim was going to get into a row, but no, the policeman chatted to him and directed traffic around the obstruction until the work was complete.
    At the age of 12 I transferred to the Grammar School, so again I passed the forge daily and often stopped to watch the activity, which included shoeing horses. When I was 14 or 15 I joined Pinchbeck Rifle Club rather than Spalding, largely because my fishing friends belonged Pinchbeck. There was a friendly rivalry between the two clubs, and Jim and Geoff both shot for Spalding. The “king pin” of Pinchbeck was the formidable local auctioneer Sam Kingston, who kept a boat called the Jerrycan on the Glen at Surfleet, so named because it was a converted German steel lifeboat. I can recall making a trip out into the Wash with him, some time in the late 1950s.
    In 1961 I landed a two-year contract to work as a sub-editor on a newspaper in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and when I came home in ’63 I discovered the Pinchbeck club, which used to meet at the Drill Hall range, had ceased to exist. I think the Drill Hall had been bought by the Post Office, or perhaps was about to be. Therefore I joined Spalding, which met on the Sugar Factory ranges, and renewed my friendship with Jim and Geoff. We often used to swap yarns, and I discovered that Jim (and maybe Geoff as well) had been in the Home Guard during the war, and had a somewhat prickly relationship with my Grandad, the then Lieutenant Frank Stimson. It says much for the characters of both Jim and Geoff that they did not bear me any ill will, and I finished up buying my first rifle off Jim.
    I recall Jim telling me that during the war he was required to keep special stocks of oxygen and acetylene so that, in the event of invasion, he could cut down both of the town’s two railway bridges over the Welland.
    I think it was in 1974 that Jim and my father, H.S. (Jack) George found themselves being treated in the same ward at the Johnson Hospital. My father died there, and Jim passed away only a short time after his discharge.
    By the time I left Spalding in 1993 I had really got out of touch with Geoff, whose interest in rifle competition seemed to have waned. By the time I left I had risen to the dizzy heights of secretary of the Spalding Rifle Club – but that’s another story….
    Mike George

    1. Geoff Taylor
      October 29, 2016 at 9:48 am

      Thanks Mike great memories. Please keep them coming. It’s so important with life and community changing so quickly that we have these reflections for the next generation. I have thinking about developing time capsules where we record today’s events to become tomorrow’s history.
      Regards
      Geoff

  5. Mike George
    October 29, 2016 at 10:31 am

    Thanks, Geoff. You are right about things changing quickly nowadays: last time I visited Spalding I got lost! I had a bit of a laugh about it, because when I was a trainee reporter on the Lincs Free Press in 1958 there was much talk about Spalding needing a bypass. The argument about it went on for more than 30 years, farmers saying it was a great idea, as long as it wasn’t on their land! I wondered if I would live long enough to drive around the bypass, and it was when I did that I got lost.
    On the same visit I couldn’t believe how much house building had gone on since I left, and how much land was now under glass.
    These days the 530 miles from my home to Spalding is too far for me to drive, but I do make regular visits via Google Earth, which seems to be updated reasonably regularly. I had a sulk the other day when I noticed that the current owner of my Spalding house had removed my beloved garden shed, which was the workshop about which I had a reasonably successful book I had published in 1987. Everything changes!

  6. Andrew Rudd
    January 20, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Hello.

    I can’t find an email address to make contact so I will leave a note here.

    Spalding Amateur and Operatic Society are performing the Wizard of Oz in May 2017. I am playing the tin man.

    Sados is the countries oldest Dramatic society and is a registered charity. Therefore finance is scarce.

    I am looking into making the tin man costume. I was wondering if the forge could be involved?

    My email is andrewrudd@outlook.com

    Many thanks
    Andrew

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