The closing date for copy for the next newsletter is the last day of this
month, September 30th.
If you have information about Blacksmithing Events or Places to Visit that may be of Interest to the
members, let us know, and we will ‘spread the word’ through the monthly BABA Newsletter.
1. BABA Council
2. Development Fund
3. Fuel Suppliers
4. Forge-Ins and other Events
5. BABA Books
6. Education - Courses
7. BABA Members Market Place – For Sale and Wanted
8. Work Placements – Available and Wanted
9. Marketing Opportunities
10. Places of Interest
11. STOP PRESS – Latest News – Including a report on the magnificent response to the
Polubotko Flood Relief Appeal.
1. BABA Council
The Four Officers:
Chairman: Nigel Barnett - 01328 700656 - email email@example.com
Vice Chair: Shelley Thomas – 07947032286 - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary: Tim Mackereth - 01526 830303 - email email@example.com
Treasurer: Elspeth Bennie - 01360 440830 - email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ordinary Members:
Bethan Griffiths - 07941 127024 - email email@example.com (Exhibitions)
David Payne - 01522 680570 - email firstname.lastname@example.org (Publicity)
Robert Smith - 01243 576107 - email email@example.com (Newsletter and Events)
Carol Smith - 01243 576107 - email firstname.lastname@example.org (Education)
Fran Mackereth - 01526 830303 - email email@example.com
David Tucker – 01332 865847 - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Proctor Taylor - 01435 830489 - email email@example.com (‘Artist Blacksmith’ Editor)
Terry Clark - 01483 235244 - email firstname.lastname@example.org (BABA Business Management)
Joe Knight - 07717 051806 (Health and Safety) - email email@example.com
In addition to the elected and co-opted Council Members listed above, the following people
carry out essential duties for BABA:
Maggie Price - 01545 580806 - email Maggie@bababooks.com (Books and Regalia)
Sally Clark - 01483 235244 - email firstname.lastname@example.org (Membership Secretary)
James Spedding - 01328 730162 - email email@example.com (BABA Website)
Alan Perry - 01545 580806 / 07967 317524 email via Maggie@bababooks.com (Equipment)
2. Development Fund
The BABA Development Fund is for supporting specific events and projects and is administered by
the Council, who may co-opt a person to the Council, or simply appoint them, to oversee such
support on behalf of the Council from time to time. For details of the fund contact the Treasurer.
3. Fuel Suppliers
Coke Beans: BABA will no longer supply coke under the BABA name; however, the 5 members
who originally supplied coke will continue to do so under their own name – see Artist Blacksmith
Magazine for details, and those of the 15 Distributors of Monckton Coke Beans, produced by R &
A Fuels (Hargreaves), sponsors of BABA. The list of Monckton smithy coke suppliers is also inside
the front cover of your BABA Membership handbook.
Proof Reader’s Note: Price Increase Shock Horror!!
I ordered 2 tonnes of Monckton Beans in August and reported that the best price I was quoted, not
from the nearest supplier to me, was £640 for 2 tonnes delivered - £320 per tonne, palletised in
20kg bags; the highest quotes were around £340 per tonne for 2 tonnes bagged and delivered.
Prices ex-yard were quoted from about £290 - £300, with delivered price depending on distance,
carrier and urgency – and whether bagged or in bulk. As I said in my note in the August newsletter,
my supplier warned me about an expected price rise by Hargreaves at the end of August: this has
now happened, and he has no choice but to impose a price rise of £100 per tonne with
immediate effect – a rise of 33% !! If you have not stocked up, phone round now to see if
anyone still has stocks at the old price! Coke is now twice the price it was two years ago.
There’s a rather cloudy issue about the VAT rate – some suppliers seem to be able to supply small
quantities of a tonne or two at the 5% domestic heating rate; others seem to need to charge at the
full 17.5% rate (there’s also rather vague talk of the climate change levy, which again doesn’t seem
to be applied to small batches). If you’re not VAT- registered, best talk to the suppliers about this
and get it clear which rate applies to your deliveries, as this will affect the price considerably.
Ian Baldwin based in Surrey can supply large or small charcoal fines to blacksmiths –
Tel: 01483 424948 / 07768 856612 for more details.
4. Forge-Ins and other Events 2008
THE FARM YARD FORGE-IN, The Farm Yard, Lisnauagh, Rathuilly,
Co Carlow, Republic of Ireland. (40 minutes from Dublin).
Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September 2008
For more details contact: Raymond Burke
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or Telephone: 087 6299951 (non-UK mobile number)
FERNHURST FURNACE, 17th Century North Park Furnace Site
Saturday 13th & Sunday 14th September 2008, 10:30 am to 5:00 pm
A weekend of guided walks and talks around the rural, wooded furnace site and pond and to the
nearby Shulbrede Priory. Displays, Cannon firing demonstrations by the Sealed Knot and many
practical demonstrations by Blacksmiths, a Charcoal Burner, Pole Lathe Turner etc. Food of the
time is available including Roast South Downs Lamb, Local Beer plus much, much more.
All in all it’s a very good day out.
Off the A286 between Haslemere & Midhurst
in West Sussex.
At the cross roads in Fernhurst turn West and
follow the road for 1 mile, the site is sign
posted, there is ample car parking in the field.
The furnace itself is located in mature
woodland adjacent to the furnace pond.
For more information visit the Web Site:
Organised by: Fernhurst Furnace Trust
A cutaway artist’s impression of the 17 & 18
Century North Park Furnace at Fernhurst.
PRESTON HALL MUSEUM FORGE-IN, Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham,
Saturday 4th October 2008
Peat Oberon’s usual great forge-in, for more information contact Peat on: Tel: 01642 785543 or
5 ANNUAL FITCHBURG FORGE-IN BLACKSMITH FESTIVAL,
Saturday 18th October 2008 at the Fitchburg Riverfront Park,
Commercial Street/Boulder Drive, Downtown Fitchburg,
I would like to extend to you an invitation to participate in the 5th Annual Fitchburg Forge-In, a
juried competition for metal artisans, sponsored by the City of Fitchburg and Achla Designs.
Cash prizes are awarded for the Decorative Panel Competition (theme: "Along the River") and for
a live competition consisting of three divisions and three sessions.
You may want to also consider becoming a vendor at the event selling your work.
For more information:
Visit http://www.discoverfitchburg.com/blacksmithfestival.html, or call Katrina at 978-345-9602.
Coordinated by community volunteers, the Annual Fitchburg Forge-In Blacksmith Festival has
successfully showcased artisans from all over the world for the past four years. We welcomed over
2,000 visitors at our last Festival and we expect many more this year.
The Festival is geared toward families and the arts. The exciting Forge-In live competition where
blacksmiths create metal works of art in traditional ways using fire and anvils makes this an unusual
event. The Great Pumpkin Carve offers all family members the opportunity to win cash prizes for
their pumpkin creations, which can be carved at the Park during the Festival. They are lit at dark
and placed along the Nashua River wall for judging. Artists, crafters and antique dealers are invited
to sell their wares and live music; seasonal foods from local non-profit organizations, as well as
children’s activities are ongoing throughout the day.
Admission to the Festival is free and is made possible by the many businesses, individuals and
organizations that contribute to this event. Our promotional efforts have highlighted this event to
the public on every calendar in the region, as well as nation-wide, as one of the premier festivals in
New England. The Festival will be promoted through advertisements, press releases, public
service announcements, flyers, radio and local television.
FINCH FOUNDRY, ST CLEMENT’S DAY CELEBRATION and FORGE-IN,
Sticklepath, Okehampton, Devon EX20 2NW
Saturday 22nd November 2008 (Open to the public from 11:00 to 16:30 - but for the
blacksmiths it starts earlier with setting up, and breakfast in the forge at about 9:00? – but check!).
This is a popular annual event run at the National Trust’s Water Powered Edge Tool Forge to
celebrate St Clement one of the Patron Saint’s of Blacksmithing. The event is open to participating
blacksmiths and the general public, there is a forging competition and an opportunity to sell ‘table
top’ items that you have made to the general public. Hearths and fuel are supplied but you will need
to bring your own tools and metal. After the event, in the evening, the blacksmiths normally have a
get together and meal at a local pub to round off the day.
For more information or to take part contact: Roger Boney on Telephone: 01837 840046 or
5. BABA Books
The BABA Books Website is up and running; and you know - “You can never have enough books
on Blacksmithing”! Give it a try on: www.bababooks.com or call Maggie on 01545 580806.
6. Education – Courses available
Please note that the Education section on the wwwbaba.org website is separately compiled
from this education section in the newsletter. However, details of forthcoming short courses
and seminars will be posted below. If you are running any such courses and events please email
me, and I will list them in this section – email@example.com
Boquio Iron and Glass:
Blacksmithing and Glass Courses in Cornwall. Tel: 01209 831694, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or
visit www.boquio.co.uk for further details.
Access to Blacksmithing and Farriery Courses – Full and Part Time
Brinsbury Campus, North Heath, Pulborough, Sussex. RH20 1DL
Tel: 01243 786321 for further details.
Forest Gate Learning Zone:
Blacksmithing Classes, 1 Woodford Road, London E7 0DH.
Tel: 020 8257 4680 for further details.
Herefordshire College of Art & Design BA (Hons) Artist Blacksmithing:
Folly Lane, Hereford. HR1 1LT.
Tel: 01432 262126 or email: email@example.com for further details.
P. Johnson and Company:
Recreational Blacksmithing Courses. Tel: 0131 333 1824 or
Email: www.rathobyresforge.co.uk for further details.
Damascus Steel Courses by Mick Maxen:
Tel: 01992 761602 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Melissa Cole - Traditional Blacksmithing and Contemporary Courses:
Courses in the Savernake Forest, Marlborough, Wiltshire. Tel: 01672 519322 or
Email: email@example.com or www.melisacole.co.uk for further details.
Blacksmithing Courses at Bilsborrow, Preston, Lancashire PR3 0RY. Tel: 01995 642222 or email:
www.myerscough.ac.uk for further details.
Peat Oberon’s School of Blacksmithing:
Tel: 01642 785543 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
The Quinnell School of Blacksmithing:
Courses at Leatherhead in Surrey. Visit our website www.blacksmithing-school.co.uk
Tel: 01372 375148 / 01372 374791 or email: email@example.com for further details.
The Wessex Guild:
Courses at the Westpoint Forge, near Exeter, Devon.
For further details contact John Bellamy on Tel: 01626 890503 or
West Dean College:
Blacksmithing Courses at West Dean near Chichester, West Sussex.
Tel: 01243 811301 or email: www.westdean.org.uk for further details.
7. BABA Members’ Market Place
Note: As a general policy BABA will run your advertisements in ‘The Newsletter’ for two
consecutive months, after which time they will be deleted – unless you advise us that the
item/items remain unsold. Advertisements containing multiple items can be amended on a monthly
basis. Contact: Carol or Robert Smith by email on: firstname.lastname@example.org with your
Workshop Space for Rent:
Leatherhead, Surrey: Rowhurst Forge.
Workspace and use of a wide range of equipment available on a shared basis in Richard Quinnell
Ltd’s well-equipped forge and fabricating workshop, adjacent to Fire and Iron Gallery, Leatherhead
in Surrey. Short or long-term use can be negotiated.
For further details: Tel: 01372 375148 or email: email@example.com
Late 17th Century House, Smithy, Stables and Barn in Lancashire:
Rural location but close to amenities; the property includes a three bedroom house, an acre or so of
garden and paddock plus various outbuildings, which include the barn, stables and the Smithy.
Terms: 10 year CPI indexed lease @ £750pcm with an agreed improvement programme.
Would suit a craftsman needing workshops and accommodation.
For more details please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hookwood, Near Crawley, Surrey (2 miles North of Gatwick Airport).
900 sq ft fully equipped working forge for rent. Equipment and facilities include: Two hearths, Power
Hammer, Large Lathe, 60 ton Ironworker, Bandsaw, Two Mig Welders, 3ph Electrics.
For terms and more details contact: Adam King on Tel: 0144819119 or Mob: 07850504867 or
Stockwood Discovery Centre, Luton, Bedfordshire:
Calling Blacksmiths & Metalworkers - Forge available for hire or for demonstrations.
The Stockwood Discovery Centre is an exciting new museum development that opened on the 12th
July 2008 in Luton. Alongside its many other exhibits will be a display of the museum’s rural trades
and crafts collection from Bedfordshire, this display includes a newly set up working forge.
The Discovery Centre offers the opportunity to qualified blacksmiths to hire it for a small fee. The
forge is also available for free to craftsmen willing to engage with the public as educators and
For further information and to discuss usage options, please contact: Rebecca Wilhelm,
Stockwood Curator on 01582 738714 or email: Rebecca.Wilhelm@luton.gov.uk
Workshop for Sale:
South of the Landes Region, France.
Traditional French home located in a small village, built around 17th century and partially restored
but perfectly fit for habitation and comprising modern kitchen with fireplace, Two Sitting/living rooms
(each with a fire place), one of them with lovely wall-cupboards, totally restored.
Three Bedrooms (two very large, one with fireplace).
In total: 219 sq m on 2 levels with 50 sq m main attic suitable for conversion. Central heating.
Garage: 64 sq m with attic of the same surface area and suitable for conversion.
Blacksmith’s Workshop 102 sq m.
All set in grounds of 1470 sq m with a fine view.
Price: 340.000 euros.
For more details contact: Michel Rozier on Tel/fax: 00 (33) (0) 5 58 76 01 39 or
Tools for Sale:
Two 3 Cwt Anvils for sale in the Bradford, North Yorkshire area. - £120 each.
For further details contact Stuart White on Tel: 01274 415842 or Mob: 07762245856 or
European Forging Clothes – Nigel Barnett
I am shortly going to import European forging clothes; these are treble stitched, have leather
reinforced pockets and twin zip fronts. Matching waistcoats are also available. If anybody is
interested please contact me on Tel: 01362 687116’.
Blacker Power Hammer for sale in Pathhead, Midlothian, Scotland.
The hammer is in good working order – price £650.00
For more details contact Raymond Douglas on Tel: 01875 321200 or Mob: 07884111964.
Numerous assorted Leg Vices for sale. Rylance Ltd., St Martin, Jersey
For more details contact: Stephen Rylance on Tel: 01534 746067 or 01534 723860 or Email:
8. Work placements – Personnel wanted
Wanted – a full time employee who will be required to make furniture as opposed to architectural
ironwork. Own accommodation and transport necessary. Salary negotiable and dependant on
experience. Tel: Home: 01594 544383 or Work: 01452 831785 for further details.
Chris Topp & Co Ltd. Carlton Husthwaite, Thirsk, North Yorkshire:
Experienced smith wanted for a potential permanent post.
See our website www.christopp.co.uk or Contact Chris on Tel: 01845 501415
Flintshire Fabrications Limited
We have a position in our workshop for a qualified blacksmith who would be required to produce a
range of high quality gates, railings, furniture, windows, etc. using traditional forging techniques.
Our clients include Cadw, English Heritage, Denbighshire County Council and Flintshire County
Council as well as Church groups and historical societies. The position is based in Holywell,
North Wales (20 minutes from Chester) salary is negotiable and working conditions excellent.
Please contact David Jones for further details on Tel: 01352 711701 or
Little Newsham Forge, Winston, Darlington, Co Durham
A blacksmith with some experience is required for Forging, Fitting and Site Work. For further details
contact Brian Russell on Tel: Home 01833 660732 or at the forge on 01833 660547 or by Email to:
Barleylands Craft Village, Billercay, Essex:
The Craft Village houses the largest collection of working
crafts in East Anglia, with over 62 impressive workshops and
various artisans at work producing original and unusual gifts.
Hours of opening are Tuesday to Sunday 10:00 to 17:00 hrs
(Summer) – 16:00 hrs (Winter).
The Blacksmiths Forge is an integral part of Craft Village,
which attracts many visitors who can watch the current
blacksmith at work creating anything from ornamental gates to
jewellery, all of which can be purchased.
Blacksmith Vacancy: To keep this creative, traditional skill
alive in our Craft Village we require a skilled Blacksmith to take
over the forge from August 2008.
For further information please contact us on:
The Barleylands Forge
Tel: 01268 532253 or
(An area of 648 sq ft. (60 sq m)).
visit or Web site at: www.barleylands.co.uk
9. Marketing Opportunities
SALTBOX GALLERY, NORTH YORKSHIRE:
A call for Contemporary Forge work from Designer/craftspeople working in all areas of
contemporary metalwork are invited to submit details of fine quality forge work to be featured at a
new contemporary fine craft gallery in North Yorkshire. Work will be selected for this autumn
onwards. Please include details and images of your work with your reply. The gallery is able to
display exterior/interior pieces. Contact: Matthew for further details on Tel: 01439 748332 or email:
email@example.com (See details of the gallery at: http://www.saltboxgallery.co.uk)
DESIGNER CRAFTS @ CHELSEA 2008
The Society of Designer Craftsmen would like to invite Professional Crafts Associations, Guilds and
Groups to take part in the Designer Crafts @ Chelsea 2008 selling Exhibition to be held from
Thursday 16th October until Sunday 19 th October 2008 at the Chelsea Old Town Hall.
For more details contact:
Christopher Bond & Anoush Waddington
Exhibition Organisers, for the Society of Designer Craftsmen
Ashbee Studio, 104, Oakridge Road,
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. HP11 2PL
Tel: 01494 521895 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PROOF READER’S NOTE: Re: DESIGNER CRAFTS @ CHELSEA 2008
This isn’t the Crafts Council-sponsored Chelsea Crafts Fair that has now moved from
Chelsea Town Hall to Somerset House as ‘Origin: The London Craft Fair’, but it would be a
unique opportunity to bring our work before a London audience, at a very popular and established
Crafts exhibition venue. http://www.designercraftsatchelsea.org.uk/
Is there anyone interested in organising participation in this for BABA?
Bethan – could we use the AGM “Playing with Fire” exhibition in July as the basis and trial run for
something similar at Chelsea in October??
If you have any constructive comments on this, contact: Bethan Griffiths on Email:
THE CORNWALL CRAFTS SHINE FAIR:
The Cornwall Crafts Association Christmas Fair is being held this
coming winter in the beautiful setting of the Trelowarren Estate! This will
be our first fair, and it is hoped that it will be a great success - there will be
70+ stalls of craft makers and food producers, and there will be a grand
opening ceremony with music and festivities.
The fair is open to makers nationwide, so if you would like to
hire a stall for the fair or you know someone who might be interested or
wish to see examples of work produced by our members visit our web site:
www.cornwallcrafts.co.uk. If you wish to participate please complete an
application form which is available to down load from the web site or for
further information contact Hilary or myself (Heidi Scott) on: Email:
email@example.com or Tel: 01326-221567
or the Craft Fair Organiser at: firstname.lastname@example.org or
Craft Fair Tel: 0781-317-0612
10. Places of Interest
In the Midlands
Black Country Living Museum – A museum that represents the life and works of the people
of the Black Country around Birmingham.
A wide large range of trades and industries are represented in this fine museum. For us as metal
workers this includes: An Ironworks with a Rolling Mill, Anchor Forge, Chain and Nail Shops, and
an Oliver Shop (Jobbing Blacksmith’s Forge). The site also includes a Mine, Canal, Fair Ground,
Transport Systems and numerous working old style shops, plus a Pub. Demonstrations such as
Chain and Nail Making are conducted regularly, but check first before travelling. There is plenty for
the family to see and do, with a number of places to eat – including a traditional Fish and Chip
Shop, and Bakery.
Location: Tipton Road, Dudley, DY1 4SQ on the A4037 road near the M5 and close to the M6.
Signposted off Junction 2 of the M5.
Tel: 0121 520 8054, Web Site: http://www.bclm.co.uk
Open: Every day from March to October, 10:00 to 17:00 hrs
In the North East
Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet - Edge Tool Making Works in Sheffield, South Yorkshire:
A complete water-powered edge-tool forge with its own Crucible Steel Furnace all in good working
condition. There is a wonderful Blowing Engine for the hearths, also very accessible tilt hammers
for steeling (forge weld laminating of the wrought and steel bars) and plating (drawing out the
laminated blanks into thin plates) ready for final shaping by the smiths. There is also a large water
powered Grinding Hull for sharpening the tools plus other associated hand forges and buildings.
Location: Abbeydale Road South, Sheffield, Yorkshire. S7 2QW
Tel: 0114 2367731
Open: Sunday 23 rd March to Sunday 5 th October 2008 at the following times:
Monday to Thursday 10:00 to 16:00 hrs. Sunday 11:00 to 16:45 hrs.
Closed: Friday and Saturday.
Also near Sheffield:
Wortley Top Forge – Industrial Heavy Forge specialising in Wrought Iron Railway Axles.
This is a very historic site that started life in 1660 as an ironworks under the control of the Monks of
Kirkstead Abbey. The water powered Tilt and Helve hammers, with tooling for making the wrought
iron axles are in working condition and date from at latest 1850. The society that look after the site
have amassed a fine collection of old engineering equipment, and they are putting together a
collection of Forging Hammers of various types. Their collection also includes steam and various
other types of engines.
Location: On the River Don, North West of Sheffield, off the A629 between Wortley and
Thurgoland. See their web site for full details or Tel: 0114 2887576.
Open: 11:00 until 17:00 hrs, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays only, from Easter until early
November. They also open on some Special Days, details posted on the Web.
In the North West
Anson Engine Museum - As featured on TV, this multi-award winning museum has a great deal to
offer visitors. It was considered to be one of the best kept secrets among Cheshire's many
attractions, however over the past few years it has undergone some major changes and is now
recognised as one of the Country’s leading specialist museums. Situated in Higher Poynton, the
museum is on the site of the old Anson Colliery. Engine enthusiasts from all over the world come to
visit this fascinating museum. However, it is increasingly becoming a "must visit" attraction for non-
enthusiasts too and won the "Visitors Choice" award (voted for by the public) when they were
asked "where would you take a visitor to the Macclesfield area"?
It is open every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday from Easter Sunday until end October
(other times and days by arrangement for group visits). It has already had a record number of
clubs visiting this summer, some from as far a field as Gateshead and Sussex.
As well as the largest collection of engines in Europe, the museum also has changing displays of
local history items such as photographs, maps, mementoes and keepsakes from the Vernon Estate
and Anson Colliery.
The Bullock Smithy and the Bodging Shelter. The museum
also has a small craft area that demonstrates throughout the
summer the ancient skills of Bodging and Smithy work. Dates
for these demonstration days are: Sunday 14th September,
Saturday 4th October and Saturday 25th October 2008.
The museum is a registered charity and receives no grants or
awards towards its running costs.
It only has one paid employee, everyone else involved is a
volunteer. One visitor captured it in these few words: -
"run on a shoestring and fuelled by enthusiasm."
Over the past few years the museum has won several awards for its displays, engines, website and
the quality of its volunteer workforce. Amongst its facilities are a tea room, free car parking for
visitors, wheelchair and motorised scooter loan and a cinema/meeting room available for hire.
Throughout the season there are events and exhibitions happening - please check website for
Location: Anson Road, Poynton, Cheshire SK12 1TD. Tel 01625 874426.
Email: email@example.com Website: http://www.enginemuseum.org
Admission Charges: £4.50 Adults, £2.50 children under 14, free for children under 5; and a family
ticket (2+2) is £12.00. There is no additional fee to visit the Craft Centre only normal museum
admission charges apply.
In North Wales
National Slate Museum: Free Entry
Located on the shores of the Llyn Padarn Lake this is a complete Victorian Slate Works for
processing slate from the quarry to the finished items. The workshops were there to make and
maintain the slate machinery and transport systems (steam railway). These works contain all the
necessary equipment and processes to ensure that slate production could be maintained – a very
large self-contained organisation. The works consist of a Saw Mill, Carpenters Workshops, a
Foundry and Pattern Shop, Forges, and a large Machine Shop, all in an amazingly good and
complete condition, and it’s free to go in! All recently refurbished at a cost of £1.6m.
Location: Llanberis, Gwynedd, Snowdonia, LL55 4TY
Open: Easter to October 2008, 10:00 to 17:00 hrs daily.
Note: November 2008 to Easter 2009, 10;00 to 16;00 hrs (closed Saturdays).
Contact: Tel: 01286 870630
11. STOP PRESS
Were you at the 2008 BABA AGM ?
Did you lose a long 13amp orange extension lead?
Dick Quinnell has kept it safe for you. To reclaim, contact Dick on: 01372 375148 or
The Frank Day Memorial Perpetual Trophy sponsored by the Blacksmiths Guild:
The aim of this competition award is to promote the Blacksmith’s Craft and show what can be
achieved by forging metal in the traditional manner. Judging will take place at the Blacksmiths Guild
AGM, in accordance with The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths Rules. More than one item can
be entered, and you do not need to be a Guild Member.
For further details (date/venue/entry fee etc.) visit the Web Site at: blacksmithsguild.com or
Tel: 01626 890503
Due to the current high value of scrap, which includes iron and steel, we are receiving
a high number of reported thefts of items such as gates, railings and steel stock and also tools,
including anvils and leg vices.
Be vigilant: just because it’s rusty and heavy won’t stop it getting stolen, and your
insurance may not pay out if you have not taken “reasonable steps” to secure it; next time you
go to use that only occasionally used tool, it may not be there!
Put it away or secure it somehow to lessen the risk.
POLUBOTKO FLOOD APPEAL
With the August newsletter we sent out news from Sergiy and Olga Polubotko, of Ivano-Frankivsk
in Ukraine, of a disastrous flood that had inundated their workshop to a depth of 1.5 metres (5 feet),
and ruined most, if not all, of their electric motors and all their welding and plasma-cutting
equipment and electric hand tools, and the firm's van. They were not covered by insurance, and it
has now been officially confirmed that they have no hope of getting any help from the local or
I appealed to all BABA members, and particularly to those who know Olga and Sergiy personally
or by reputation, “to contribute as much as you can afford to help these good people out. I'm
suggesting that their friends might consider contributing the cost of taking them out for a nice meal -
with good wine. But every little will help, and I'll be grateful for any contribution of any size.”
I was able to report that I’d already sent an initial instalment of GBP £1,000 - worth of Euros (=
Euros 1,250) to the Polubotkos by urgent international bank transfer on the 13th August, and that I’d
already received cheques from several of their friends. I received further donations from BABA
members as a result of that report, and the administrators of the BABA Rachel Reckitt hardship
fund decided to contribute £ 1,000. As a result of this, and in expectation of further donations, I sent
a further £2,000 – worth of Euros to the Polubotkos on the 27th of August.
All the money has arrived safely in their bank account and is being put to good use. Total transfer
costs to me were in the order of £70 – £80 – no more than about 3%, even allowing for the Sterling
to Euro exchange - so better than PayPal; and on checking what has actually arrived in their
account some days later, given that Sterling had fallen against the Euro in the meantime, it looked
as though they had received not less than 99% of the £3,000 value, and probably 100% at the
exchange rate on the days they received it, so I’m confident that we couldn’t have used a more
cost-effective way of getting the money to them.
So, to summarise, I’ve sent £3,000 to the Polubotkos, and spent about £80 on bank transfer
I’ve received £ £1,610.00 in donations from 17 members of BABA, including my own contribution –
an average of about £95 each.
A few people have been very generous, and given considerably more, and have told me they’re
glad to be in a position to be able to help out. Others have given smaller sums and have told me
they’ve sent what they can afford, some of them although they’re rather skint. I’m very grateful to all
of them – everything is welcome.
So at present I’ve received £1,610 plus a firm promise of £1,000 Rachel Reckitt money that’s on its
way, total £2,610 – and I’ve paid out £3,080 – so at present I’m short by £470, and I haven’t had
any cheques in for some days.
I’d like to see that £470 made up with new donations – and I’d like to send the Polubotkos
some more on top of that – BABA has well over 500 members, and I’m sure that if 17 of them
can put their hands in their pockets, many more could do so if I chivvy them!
So that‘s what I’m doing now.
The Polubotkos have been overwhelmed by the supportive messages they’ve received form
all over the world, and they want us to know how grateful they are for both the moral and
financial support they’ve received.
To quote from Olga’s emails to me:
How good it is to have friends, really.....
We here often say that to have 100 friends is better than to have 100 roubles( pounds)
And here it is obviously seen in our situation.
Where do you think is good to write a thank you letter ? Proctor?
...thank you once again...
What you are all doing - this is amazing, really.
you must know how I feel now, how grateful we are to all of brothers!
Only now can answer to you...
You are all so great! doing so much for us ! I am saying about all blacksmiths..
We feel this support, appreciate that people are not indifferent all over the world !
this is really great!
Sergiy was here when I opened your letter and started to read it aloud ! You wrote it so funny! so
we both laughed !
a lot ! thank you for a bit of a laugh today !
Peat also wrote to me today-- you are so real, this is true !
Richard, can you thank everyone who contacts you and we thought of a letter to the magazine or
writing to the site of BABA .. we will do it, definitely.....
● Some days ago Sergiy came to a conclusion to sell the house we were building for 3 years
and hoping to move there one day. He said thus we would settle down our financial
problems somehow. The decision to sell or not to sell comes every day (like Hamlet) and 3
days ago he seems made a final decision. We have nothing to do but agree with him. Will be
still living in a flat ...with a hope to build another house once again... [my emphasis – DQ]
Tell everyone personally that we value all they did for us - this is incredible but this is exactly how
it should be ! we still have the same strange mixture of blood, fire, some spiritus (maybe??) in our
The Polubotkos have worked incredibly hard to build up their business in a difficult economy, as
well as being the dynamo behind the revival of blacksmithing in Ukraine - they're also great
internationalists and have made many friends worldwide. Sergiy had a long spell off work last year
as the result of severe pelvic and leg injuries he received in a car crash, and he's only fairly recently
been able to return to work. I think that without substantial help they may well face financial ruin
and the loss of their business. They have already realized that to survive they are forced to sell the
incomplete house they have been building for three years, as and when they could afford to - their
dream home - and continue to live in their flat for the foreseeable future.
If you intended to contribute, but hadn‘t yet got round to it, or if you are moved by what I have told
you of the Polubotkos’ plight please send a contribution, whatever you feel you can afford, by
cheque made out to:
Richard Quinnell Ltd,
to me at: Rowhurst Forge, Oxshott Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 0EN.
Please send details of your name, postal and email addresses, and phone number, also stating
that the payment is for the BABA Ukrainian Flood Appeal, on a note attached to your cheque.
Contact me if you'd rather pay by BACS.
I will acknowledge receipt of your contribution, and will keep careful account of all receipts and
disbursements, and will circulate details of what we raise.
Overseas members should check with their own national associations to see if they are organising
any group fundraising - if not, contact me.
In the unlikely event that we raise more than the Polubotkos need to keep going, there are other
blacksmiths less severely affected in their region, and lots of ordinary people, who they
have undertaken to help.
Please give as generously as you can - the total trashing of your workshop is every blacksmith's
worst nightmare –- and I know they'd do the same for any of us.
Aug ust 6th – soon after the flood – from Olga:
Hello dear friends !
Glad to hear from you all but really we didn't expect such a reaction from the blacksmiths. And this is even
more embarassing now. Really I wrote just because I promised to some people who were in our shop before
to look at the "familiar" places under the water. But the echo went further - much further than I had expected!
Had no intention and even were not thinking or dreaming of the help. And that is why it is so overwhelming
now.Such reaction and support.
I got the responce from other countries now, many smiths wrote letters to us saying how they understand our
thank you all for support and moral help now.
As far as we know many of the shops in the mountains where the destructions are even harder were not in
water but the villages were.
We got only one news from a smith from Ternopil region whose shop is still in water, tomorrow the pumping
of water will be done but he wasn't caught by a chance - he lives down the river and they knew already about
the floods which happened a day or two in our region which is up the river, so he managed to save in a safe
place almost all his equipment and tools. Unlike us - flood caught us at night , without any warning from the
flood-prediction service. We lost 1week for cleaning, now the second week for drying, rewinding the engins(
and they keep burning : 3 out of 4 forges we tried to start burned afterwards, compressor went out of order
on the 2nd day after the cleaning, still all new forges we made for the festival ( about 15) are waiting for
cleaning , checking, drying, revinding- we don't know what is their state.
Also there were air hammers, plazma, arc- weldings,semiautomatic weldings,other forges, car for work, lots
of engineering tools, hydravlic press,gas and oxigen equipment, drill machine, tools, ready works/items,
exhibition items, store of materials, coal, metal, paint..and many other things.. a lot - about 15 work places
were under the water with all the personal tools.
Later, on the 27th August: details of the damage and costs and eloquent thanks:
So , the water came at night , very quickly, no one expected it.
Old people don't remember such a flood for 40 years in our region, other mass media even said 70 or even
200 years ( meaning that it was for the first time when all the rivers of the region flooded simultaneously).
It was raining, even pouring for several days non stop, I was crossing Ukraine in that time and for 600 kms
( till the central point of the country) starting from our city it was pouring all the way: thunderstorms, raining
cats and dogs! All 600 kilometers! that was a visual example how big the flood was. The western
territories where we live suffered most of all, it was called a disaster, hundreds of bridges were broken ( one
in our city too- a big concrete bridge, another was damaged and closed in the days of the flood, then fixed.
But in these days the whole sleeping district couldn't get home, they walked across half -broken bridge.Our
city is in between of 2 rivers so it affected the city as well and also the mountaneous regions (about 70 km
from our city) . There roads, railways, bridges were ruined, huge territories were flooded, there were even
"moves" of the watered ground in some places of the mountains.
As known, Ivano-Frankivsk outlived this month, probably, the worst flood in the history. An alike flood was in
June, 1969, then the city did not yet have powerful protective buildings round the deltas of the rivers. But a
water level then rose substantially less than now. The water level went up for 5 meter in our city this time.
In a period from July, 23-25 considerable part of Western Ukrainewas flooded as a result of strong rains.
ONLY IN OUR REGION:
The Ivano-Frankivsk area suffered most, where 980 economic buildings were in water and 863 dwelling-
houses, which about 300 persons, 34,8 hectares of agricultural lands, are settled out from, 7 920 meters of
banks of the rivers and dambs were washed out. About 30 people died in the flood .
As reported in Ministry on questions extraordinary situations, In districts on separate areas 29 kms of
motorways of local value are washed out and flooded and damaged and the 24 motor-car bridges are ruined
and 30 foot-bridges.Without a power supply remained 43 inhabited points, in 10 districts of area without
public-call connection there are 96 settlements. In city Ivano-Frankivsk connection is recovered with a
microregion . From unconfirmed data, it is done through the damage of motor-car bridge across the river of
Bistricya Solotvinska, which connects this sleeping district with the center of the city.
So , the water came to the shop at night , the night guard was caught on the 2nd floor because he even
couldn't escape - the transformators and electricity was on. so in the morning Sergiy bought special fishing
boots [waders] till your neck (almost) and he went in the water (at that moment it was 150cm deep) to switch
the electricity off.
After the flood there was about 20 cm of dirt mixed with paint, oil, coal everythere, so it took one week of
cleaning the shop from the mud.
So now comes the workshop report:
1. rewinded engines of pneumatic hammer, compressor, rolling press ( about 90 US dollars per one)
2.Engines for the forges. ( about 15 )
At the attempt to switch the first ones after they have been dried, 2 out of 3 burned, and we decided to buy
new ones . Now we bought 4 engines for the forges in the shop that are needed for the work.( $100 each)
3.All electrical starters for all machine tools need to be changed
4.All electric tools ( grinder, perforator, drill machines) ,lost their 3-year warranty but now work so far after
drying and cleaning up.
5.one of the contactors at the entry transformator was spoiled- maybe two of them will be needed to be
replaced soon -it will cost 500 euro .
6.Some of the details need to be replaced in the electrical boxes( not sure about my translation, but hope
you understand- you have the similar equipment)
7.plasma machine was dried , washed.
8. 3 MIG -welders were in water, after in all welders the spirals were replaced, 2 started to work.
9. All welding machines (turning) lathe, all forges-- we had no time to look at them. Actually there is a lot of
working places for about 20 people with all electrical equipment for each brigade were in water.
10. After cleaning and fixing started to work cuttingmachine, band-saw, shears, twisting machine, rolling
press, 3 air hammers, 2 drilling machines, plazma, compressor, car( was also in water up to the highest point
of the steering wheel;
11 Some machines need all bearings changed.
12. A lot of time was spent for cleaning up - all people were working for about 14 days only for cleaning,
producing nothing, the schedule of works was broken, nothing was produced during these days, and the
problem where to find money to pay their wages was very big.
So , getting out the mud, cleaning up of all things, cleaning up the territory, cleaning from rust, and oil that
was in the water and then covered everything, cleaning of the ready and already made forged items, store of
the materials, expensive paints were also turned [spilled] and the paint,coal was in the water. Because of this
all hose, hose pipes were replaced and all reducerrs, gas torches, oxygen equipment.
So, this is quickly I gave some facts that we wrote . Actually about 20 people in the shop were working to
return their work places to work. But the electrician says the equipment will be not working as it should be
working even if it started to work, it may burn and go out of order quicker and more often.
So now comes the part where we feel taken aback and embarassed by such a reaction of the British,
American , Belgian, some Ukrainian blacksmiths.
When it all happened I just sent the photos to some friends who was in our shop, to see the familiar
places [under water] . But reaction went further than I expected: more and more people were asking
how they can help. And the real help started coming. the first days we were so embarassed, even not
knowing how to behave: to give or not the account number for the help because we do understand that
blacksmiths are not millionairs in the bulk , so we felt veru unease when people wanted to help.
Tried to thank them only for thinking about us and giving moral support because we have never been in
the situation that people were ready to help in the situation like this. Most of the times we tried to
get out of the difficult situations ourselves no matter how difficult it was. ( no, the first time we felt
such a help and support was after our accident) . But the smiths were much more persistent and
energetic than we expected, so we gave up!
And when the disaster comes, you realise how many friends you have , people whom you might see for a
couple of minutes at one of the smith festivals some years ago also wanted to give a helping hand.
And here it comes: ‘Brotherhood and Unity!’ as we often write to each other with Richard Quinnell in
We don't feel good because of the other reason: we don't know who can we thank now! Who was that
not indifferent to the people whom maybe they have never seen?
I know only the Nigel was helping, Richard and must be many others whose names we don't know.
But believe - we thank you every time when we think of you , we will raise a toast to Brotherhood and
Unity when we see you all! We would like to thank the BABA Rachel Reckitt Hardship Fund and other
BABA, CBA, ABANA, Belgian Association who are ready to help us.
(here Richard, you can add the best lines of the thousands of thanks I wrote before!)
[Olga – I have already! - DQ]
Really, it is difficult to write being so deeply touched by such an attitude, feeling the support and help from
everywhere, from t he places you would never expect.
this is a good lesson for us, for you, for everyone - open your eyes, unplug your ears- see sufferings around
you, be kinder ! We are taught a lesson, because we remember the disastrous floods in the USA and Britain
but we personally even didn't know the way how to help those people but now other people help us.
Amazing..or maybe it is as it should be ?? to take somebody's pain as your own? to feel the pain in your
body- this makes us human, this makes us different from the animals..we speak one language, we are doing
the same thing- we are transforming metal..and we are transforming our souls right now..
We take off our hats and bow to the ground as in our Slavic countries do- to show our respect and gratitude.
being together - this is a huge power and not any nature and country's disaster can break our spirit of unity
and brotherhood. Smitheryhood as I would put it..
Thank you once again, all those kind people whose names we even don't know but we feel your warmth and
support. thank you.
Sergiy and Olga Polubotko