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Teenagers bring new life to traditional blacksmith industry after launch of Suffolk business

PUBLISHED: 15:37 22 March 2016 | UPDATED: 10:18 23 March 2016

 Elliot Harrison and Paul stoddart of Kingdom forge brundish.

Elliot Harrison and Paul stoddart of Kingdom forge brundish.

It may be considered a career for the ‘old boys’ by many, but two teenagers with a mission to keep the blacksmith industry going have set up their own business in Suffolk.

Paul Stoddard and Elliot Harrison, both 19, met during their blacksmith and metalwork studies at Herefordshire College, and by the end of their second year had already made a pact to go into business together and began to buy equipment.

Mr Stoddart, of Felixstowe, said: “I have been fascinated in this kind of thing since I was quite young. I have always wanted to do it.

“After my GCSEs this course was recommended to me and I thought I would apply.

“We were talking through starting a business through the whole of our second year. By the time we got to the end we had bought equipment.”

The blacksmiths at Coddenham around 1930. The forge was the the corner of Blacksmiths Lane and School Road. In the picture are (from the left) Mr Smith, horseman at Leeds Farm, Hemingsone, Florence Offord, Ethelred ‘Tel” Offord and Percy Offord. (Photo courtesy Dave Kindred)
The blacksmiths at Coddenham around 1930. The forge was the the corner of Blacksmiths Lane and School Road. In the picture are (from the left) Mr Smith, horseman at Leeds Farm, Hemingsone, Florence Offord, Ethelred ‘Tel” Offord and Percy Offord. (Photo courtesy Dave Kindred)

When they completed their course, the pair began searching for a workshop and agreed Mr Harrison would move from his former home in Heanor, Derbyshire, to Suffolk.

They soon found their base in Brundish and set up their firm, Kingdom Forge, offering a range of blacksmith, fabrication and metalwork services.

“We decided to move down here just because the situation was right,” said Mr Stoddard.

“It has been absolutely perfect. We both absolutely love it. There’s such a wide range of metal working involved in what we do.”

S and A Clows forge at Bruisyard in the mid 1920s. Standing, from the left are Archibald, Arthur and Stanley Clow. (Photo courtesy Dave Kindred) S and A Clows forge at Bruisyard in the mid 1920s. Standing, from the left are Archibald, Arthur and Stanley Clow. (Photo courtesy Dave Kindred)

Determined to keep interest in the blacksmith industry alive, Mr Stoddard and Mr Harrison have already confirmed demonstration displays at 15 events across the country, which locally include the Framlingham Country Show, on April 9 and 10, Suffolk Show, on June 1 and 2, Art on the Prom, Felixstowe, on September 4 and the Essex Country Show on September 10 
and 11.

For more info visit kingdomforgemetalw.wix.com/kingdomforge

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