Ravenstonedale Kirkby Stephen Cumbria

In February 2000 in a conversation with David Morris, Bob Hayton talked about his recollections of the old Blacksmiths, now a ruin on Ash Fell, just above Blae Flatt Lane. Sadly Bob passed away some 5 days later on February 13th 2000 aged 85.

His contribution to to tracing the history of the old Blacksmiths is outlined below... Blackmiths on Ash Fell Asked about the ruin on Ash Fell (above the cottages belonging to Peter Blezard off Blae Flatt Lane) Bob recalled that it was a flourishing Smithy, where two brothers, Luke and Billy Walmsley shoed horses and did other Blacksmiths jobs. They were in that position partly in order to serve the mining which was going on along Ash Fell, but also there were plenty of people wanting their horses seen to; farmers, tradesmen etc. Blacksmiths on Ash Fell Luke and Billy were relatives of Mark Handley (Bob's uncle) through Mark's mother who was a Walmsley. Bob recalled as a child, peering in to see Luke and Billy work with bellows, fire and anvil. He said "You had to be ready to run because Luke and Billy didn't like having children near (for safety reasons) and would chase you off if you came too near". Bob thought Luke and Billy built the Smithy themselves. It was wound up before Bob began work. Blacksmiths on Ash Fell There was a second Blacksmith's shop on the main street where 'The Forge' is now. Luke and Billy also ran this Smithy and lived there. Blacksmiths on Ash Fell Bob also went on to mention market day in Ravenstonedale which he thought was a Tuesday. This was in response to my querying the number of horses there might have been about for Luke and Billy to deal with. He recalled there were a lot, particularly on market day when lots of people trading various goods (eggs, fish etc) would be around the Black Swan area and would leave lots of horses tied up anywhere in the street and up Blae Flatt Lane, along with pony traps. There were quite a few drunks who came from Newbiggin to the Black Swan and whom he was told to avoid. Blacksmiths on Ash Fell