Family-run forge celebrates 50th anniversary

Hodgson's Forge is celebrating its 50th anniversary.''left to right Ian Hodgson, Sandra Hodgson, Eleanor Barber and Joshua Bates ANL-141117-113554009
Hodgson's Forge is celebrating its 50th anniversary.''left to right Ian Hodgson, Sandra Hodgson, Eleanor Barber and Joshua Bates ANL-141117-113554009

A family-run business in Terrington St Clement, recognised as being one of the country’s leading ironwork specialists, is celebrating 50 years of trading.

Hodgsons Forge in Wesley Road specialises in restoration, conservation and preservation of architectural, ornamental and decorative ironwork.

The Hodgson family have been Master Blacksmiths for five generations producing goods used on estates, for domestic and industrial purposes and also for churches.

Ian and Sandra Hodgson are the present day owners of the business. Ian said: “Over the years we have built up our reputation for providing quality products and service. Our products are tailored to individuals’ requirements and we only use the best materials.

“There is a growing popularity today for handcrafted ironwork and our order books reflect this.”

The key to the Forge’s success is its team of specialists who use traditional methods and the highest quality of materials. The craftsmen are highly trained

and can reproduce the most complex features and delicate details which can be found on period iron work.

Their skills have been put to good use producing work for the University of Cambridge, the National Trust and The Queen’s estate at Sandringham.

The business employs local people wherever possible and in the last two months has taken on Joshua Bates, 19, for a two-year apprenticeship.

John Fendley Hodgson founded the business in 1918 after returning from the First World War, but it was Tony Hodgson who established his own company called Tony Hodgson & Partners in 1964 with his brother Colin. Later in 1970 his son, David, joined the partnership and in 1978 his son, Ian, also joined.

The Workshipful Company of Blacksmiths awarded Tony Hodgson the bronze medal in 1971 and the silver medal in 1984.

The silver medal was awarded for his restoration work on the main gates at Cliveden House. The guild rarely awards these medals for outstanding craftsmanship. After Tony’s death in 2000, the business changed its name to Hodgsons Forge. Ian and Sandra took over ownership of the business in 2013.