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Blacksmiths get together

PUBLISHED: 15:04 11 June 2008 | UPDATED: 14:35 07 July 2010

It was certainly an apt theme - especially as far as Saturday was concerned.

About 150 blacksmiths from across the country and as far afield as Germany and France had to turn their attention to flooding as they showed off their skills at a get together at Fransham Forge, near Dereham, over the weekend.

It was certainly an apt theme - especially as far as Saturday was concerned.

About 150 blacksmiths from across the country and as far afield as Germany and France had to turn their attention to flooding as they showed off their skills at a get together at Fransham Forge, near Dereham, over the weekend.

The event is held every two years by forge owner Nigel Barnett, who decided on the theme as his premises flood during heavy rain.

The craftsmen worked away over the two days and created a piece of work which will go on a handrail across the stream next to the forge.

Despite Saturday's steady rain the forge avoided any serious flooding and Mr Barnett said it had been a great weekend.

“It has gone really well and members of the public will be able to see examples of the amazing work they have done,” said Mr Barnett, who is chairman of the British Artist Blacksmith Association.

He said the gatherings allowed students to meet and learn from master blacksmiths and help keep the craft alive.

Among the work on display was a giant 15ft high chain made by Mr Barnett and fellow blacksmith John West which is part of a commission for a sculpture to form an entrance to a park in Yarmouth.

Mr Barnett re-opened the forge about seven years ago and it is on the site where William Crane started a business in 1865 which developed into former Dereham trailer maker Crane Fruehauf.

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