Rescued 18th century smithy in running for national English Heritage award

WORKING WAYS: John Guy as he forges a piece in his Hetton Smithy.

WORKING WAYS: John Guy as he forges a piece in his Hetton Smithy.

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A RESTORATION project which has saved a 19th century blacksmith shop from a state of near collapse is in the running for a national award.

The work on Hetton smithy has been shortlisted for an English Heritage Angel Award in the best rescue of an industrial building or site section.

FINISHED WORKSHOP: The Smithy in Hetton.
FINISHED WORKSHOP: The Smithy in Hetton.

Carried out by the Durham County Council-hosted Limestone Landscapes Project, and backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the restoration of the Grade II listed building has transformed back into a fully working workshop. It is one of the oldest buildings in the area and visitors can now see owner John Guy, who runs it with wife Linda, put on demonstrations.

The Guys, along with the programme manager of partnership, Tony Devos, will attend the red carpet event in November at the Palace Theatre, London.

Councillor Neil Foster, the council’s cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “It’s great to see such a worthwhile project getting the recognition it deserves by being shortlisted for a national award.” People can see the smithy in action at Heritage Open Days from Friday, September 12, to Sunday, September 14, between 10am and 3pm.

The building is up against the The Renewable Heritage Trust for Howsham Mill, York, The Prince’s Regeneration Trust for Middleport Pottery, Stoke-on-Trent and Oldland Mill Trust Volunteers for Oldland Windmill, Hassocks, in the awards.


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