The contents of the shop came largely from the Barney Brothers Blacksmiths shop at

Stockenchurch. The Barney Bros. started work in about 1900. A society member living

in Pitstone gave bricks from their garden wall to build the forge. It is a working

forge and demonstrations are sometimes given on the Special Open Days. We tend to

associate blacksmiths nowadays with shoeing horses but in the farming community they

undertook almost any work using metal, from making and repairing farm implements to

patching cooking pots. The many tools around the room were mostly made by the blacksmith

himself from wrought iron. Where hardened carbon steel was required for cutting purposes,

the favourite source of material was old metal files. Coke or small coal was used on the

fire with the large bellows required to 'blow' the fire, giving the very high temperatures

required to soften the iron or steel, enabling the blacksmith to bend, shape or when

heated to the highest temperature, beat the metal together to form a 'blacksmith's weld'

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