Fred Bellinger writes
Brize Norton Blacksmiths from 194O's
The blacksmiths workshop/forge in the 1940's and probably before was
where "Anvil Croft” is now, a
compact workshop with a Forge and all the tools and equipment needed to
ply the trade, which in those
days included Horse Shoeing , farming and agricultural repairs, basic
plumbing, general village needs
including fitting new handles to forks/shovels plus making gates and
railings etc and general builders
Albert Print was the blacksmith who along with his assistant John
Cambray made many fine gates and railings, all in the old fashioned way with riveted joints
haunches. (No welding).
The recreation ground and Church gates are fine examples
Most of the raw materials came via the railway and had to be
collected by tractor and trailer and
occasionally horse and cart
In the early 50's Albert Print retired
and the business was taken over
by John Cambray. St the
workshop moved into the Wheelwrights building adjacent to the "Kithicks"
owned by Mr Packer who was a carpenter, builder and undertaker.
The old forge was kept for storage purposes for a while.
By now a massive expansion was taking place on the airfield
of the blacksmiths time was
taken up making component parts and maintenance for the airfield
contractors, the workforce by now had grown to 5/6 to cope with this influx of work
and also the
growing local farming needs.
More workshops and machinery were added to the ” Kithicks” complex to
cope with the extra work
Involved by the blacksmiths, now running as ”J & P Cambray”.
John Cambray decided he wanted to go into farming and in 1964 the
business was taken over by Fred
Bellenger & Larry Clarke still under the J & P Cambray Logo.
Local Farmers machinery was becoming more reliable
and farmers were
repairing their own
equipment up to a point and local builders, quarries and government
departments were now the main
Blacksmiths had now become Steel Fabricators taking on much bigger
steel framed contracts over
a much wider area.
By the 70's the "l(ithicks” premises were becoming too small for the
increased work load and the now much larger delivery lorries to access
and in 1974 the business
moved on to bigger premises
on "Bromag" Estate, Minster Lovell, thus ending Blacksmithing in
Fred Bellenger 2020