Four learners from the Herefordshire College of Technology’s Level 2 Diploma in Blacksmithing course have created a beacon that has been positioned on the well-known county landmark Garway Hill. The beacon is part of a larger chain of beacons that were lit across the country 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 HCT Course Tutor, Pete Smith. The project has been a real community effort with involvement from local farmers and residents who have helped put up the beacon; as well as companies such as Collins Design and Build Ltd who transported it and Oldfield Forge who assisted with the brackets which would hold the 16ft construction in place.
HCT learner, 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 is good that people will get to see a traditionally-made piece of metalwork; maybe it’ll rekindle a bit of flame for the blacksmithing craft!”
Chairperson of the Garway Hill Commoner’s Association, Lesley Whistance, commended everyone involved in the project at the lighting celebrations, “We’re very grateful to have this wonderful construction. It has been a great deal of work for everyone involved and it really has been worth it. A big thank you to Natural England and Neil Rimmington, the Countryside Archaeologist for Herefordshire Council, for their support of this venture. Everyone has commented on what a tremendous event it has been.”
Prince’s Trust Development Advisor and Ward Councillor for Pontrilas, Russell B Hamilton, also attended at the celebrations and commented, “I am so pleased that this project has been such a great success. I would also like to say a big thank you to the College and especially to Course Tutor Pete Smith, who has been tremendously supportive of his students throughout this process. It is fitting that in this special year of jubilee celebrations that The Prince’s Trust has been able to support Ben’s involvement. This is a fantastic result for a very unique project.”