During the Caernarfon Food Festival we had an open day on the Gefail Yr Ynys site! With the sun shining and plenty of hustle and bustle in the town it was a pleasure to have the opportunity to show the site and the forge!
We had a very special guest visiting the site in the afternoon, Bob Williams (Bob Brunswick) who started working on the Island Forge site in 1949. He remembers his first ever interview on the site’s office, over the phone through the medium of English, he was delighted when they told him he got the job! He started earning £1 a week but with National Insurance deduction he actually earned 65p a week. He explained how he loved working using the forge;
“I loved working on the forge fire, creating all sorts of metal works” He said.
He also explained the general atmosphere on site. See picture below of him standing where the canteen used to be, they used to talk and have a laugh in the canteen.
They produced all sorts of metal work on site, from gates to a gift for the Queen!! He showed us a photo album of most of the works he had produced using the forges, the work can be seen all over Wales and across the border.
Thank you Bob for visiting the site, we look forward to hearing more from you again shortly!
During the day we had many activities on site, Cimera’r circus skills workshops, the Gefail yr Ynys game involving hitting a 6inch nail into a piece of wood with as few strikes as possible, easier said than done!!! At the end of the day Dylan Parry lit the forge for the second time in a decade.
Thank you all for visiting the site and it was reassuring to hear people wanting to preserve and resurrect blacksmithing skills.