NWM Gloucester Docks - Gloucester, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Master Mariner
N 51° 51.692 W 002° 15.158
30U E 551464 N 5745901
Quick Description: A museum exhibit in a former blacksmiths workshop.
Location: South West England, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 9/21/2011 11:11:10 AM
Waymark Code: WMCMHT
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Team Laxson
Views: 1

Long Description:
The National Waterways Museum, in Gloucester Docks, has many exhibits that are outside the main museum building and free to see. In the cafe, attached to the museum, is an exhibit of a blacksmiths shop typical of one that used to be housed in the building. See photos.

To the left of the exhibit is a large display board (see photo) that identifies the equipment and tools used, by the blacksmith in a series of drawings. The text on the board reads:
"The Blacksmiths Forge / Most canal repair and maintenance / work would require the blacksmith. / Here tools would be made and sharpened, / fittings for locks, bridges and buildings / forged and altered. The blacksmith / was often a trained farrier and would / also shoe horses.

1. Anvil - the blacksmiths shaping block for bending and forging with a hammer.
2. Anvil stand - sets the anvil at the best working height.
3. Forge hearth - small coke (breeze) burning in a blast of air is used for heating the metal.
4. Tongs - for holding the different shapes of hot metal safely.
5. Sledge hammers - for heavy forging and striking work.
6. Water trough (bosh) - for cooling hot tongs and hardening (quenching) hot steel.

To work hot metal the blacksmith / has a number fo special tools. / These tools are used with a sledge hammer / 'Sets' will cut metal hot and cold / 'Flatteners' are for forging flat the work piece / 'Swages' and 'fullers' are for forging metal into shape. //

1. Top swages - handled tools for forming shapes in hot metal.
2. Bottom swages - matching formers used with top swages fit into square holes in the anvil.
3. Bench vice of leg vice - the blacksmiths clamp for holding hot or cold metal for shaping with a file or saw.
4. Swage block - cast iron block with different sized and shaped holes and grooves for use with the top and bottom swages.
5. Swage block stand - holds the swage block at the best working height."

Another notice reads:

A blacksmith is a person who shapes heated iron and steel (known as forging) with tools on an anvil or with forging machines. 'Black' comes from the colour of the metal after it has been heated and cooled. 'Smith' comes from the word 'smite' which means to strike. Therefore a blacksmith is someone who strikes black metal.

Blacksmiths were very important during the canal age. Canals were built using simple hand tools such as picks and shovels, stonemasons chisels and wheelbarrows to move the earth and rocks.

Te blacksmith's job was to make and repair these tools as well as working as a farrier shoeing the many horses that worked on the site and pulled the boats. A blacksmith's job also included making the paddle gear on locks, the strapping for the huge lock gates, the metalwork on bridges and mooring rings and boat hooks."

Another notice reads:
"The Equipment

A fire is burned in a forge to provide heat for a blacksmith's work. A pair of bellows, blower or fan is used to blow air into the fire to make it hot enough to soften the metal so that it can be beaten, shaped or welded together.

An anvil is a solid block of metal with a flat top surface which the hot metal is hammered against to get a required shape. Other parts of the anvil are curved so that a blacksmith can easily shape more complicated items. Anvils come in many sizes and styles.

A blacksmith uses hammers of different shapes and sizes to flatten, bend and shape hot metal.

Tongs are used to hold the hot metal while hammering it and also moving it between fire and anvil."

Walking around the docks it is easy to see that a team of blacksmiths would be continuously engaed in keeping the docks working.
Operating Status: Re-creation / Educational

Web Address: [Web Link]

Llanthony Warehouse
The Docks
Gloucester, United Kingdom

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