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Ben Crosthwaite

Four learners from the Level 2 Diploma in Blacksmithing course took part in a project this year with the aim of creating a beacon to go on the well-known county landmark Garway Hill to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Thomas Tribe, Ed Glennie, Peter Averson and Ben Crosthwaite accepted the commission from Garway Hill Commoner’s Association to build the beacon and were managed under the watchful eye of Blacksmithing Tutor, Pete Smith. Learners had to manage the project around their course workload as well as around busy periods in the College’s forge.

Ben Crosthwaite and the Jubilee Beacon project has been a real community effort, with involvement from local farmers and residents, who have helped put up the beacon. Wood from the Holme Lacy estate was used to make the supporting 16ft post and Collins Design and Build Ltd kindly offered to transport it. Oldfield Forge assisted with the brackets which would hold the construction in place.

Ben Crosthwaite, who received a Development Award from the Prince’s Trust to pay for his blacksmithing tools last year, was thrilled to see the beacon fly the flag for the traditional craft.

“We hope that people will be able to see the beacon across the county and that it measures up to everyone’s expectations. It’s great that lots of different people will get to see it; maybe it’ll rekindle a bit of flame for traditional blacksmithing methods. Watching the fire welding was wonderful; it is a really interesting and dramatic looking method.”