Traditions still going strong at Sheffield hamlet’s metalwork festival

A complete workshop sprung up on site
A complete workshop sprung up on site
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It’s the industry that made Sheffield great – and craftsmen proved that traditional metalwork is still alive at a celebration day.

The Galvanize Festival Forge In took place at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, and was part of a series of events to commemorate 100 years since stainless steel was first produced.

Traditional metalworking skills were on show

Traditional metalworking skills were on show

Around 20 guest makers and blacksmiths from the British Artist Blacksmiths Association – some of the most skilled in the country – visited the hamlet to demonstrate forging hot metal.

Also on display was a showcase of skills from craftspeople specialising in woodturning, glasswork, stone masonry, leatherwork, lace making and iron smelting.

Designer Jason Heppenstall made a new sculpture over the two-day Forge In event, and there was live music from groups including Black Hares, the Storm Trees and Jack’s Rake.

Tasty food was served on a barbecue run by the Whirlow Hall Farm Shop.

Youngsters tried their hand at metalworking in the ‘family forge’, and enjoyed living history activities.

Children heard tales from an Iron Age chieftain and Roman legionary, while popular character Mr Tyzack – who plays the part of the hamlet’s former owner – took tours of the site.

Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, off Abbeydale Road South, features many listed 18th and 19th century buildings, including workers’ cottages, and was in use until the 1930s.

Bosses are embarking on a £1 million project to restore the hamlet’s waterwheels and machinery over the next three years, part-funded with £895,700 of Heritage Lottery money.

The site has the only intact crucible steel furnace in the world, and attracts around 30,000 visitors every year.