Easterton Smithy again

In Market Lavington Museum blog, we have already shared photos and information about The Easterton Smithy See also Easterton Smithy

In one of our scrapbooks of news cuttings, we have an article about this workplace from the Wiltshire News of 17th May 1957. Unfortunately, someone long ago used sticky tape on this cutting, which has caused the edges to deteriorate. However, it is still legible and extends our knowledge.

Our Easterton Smithy blog has a clearer version of this photograph. Its caption in the newspaper dates it to ’65 years ago’, which would have been 1892. It is rather alarming to see a thatched roof on a building where fire and sparks were part of the work scene. Indeed, the report concludes by saying that the cottage by the smithy did burn down and the site later became the village garage.

In Victorian times, the smithy was run by several generations of the Maynard family. Mr Enos William Maynard was running the business around the turn of the century. We are told that his work included horse shoeing, making pig rings and various sorts of iron work, including making the wall ties for Jubilee Cottages, across the road in Easterton.

Mr Maynard had a good reputation for shoeing horses and one customer brought his hackney horse from London as he knew that the Easterton smithy was able to stop the horse’s step from clicking. Mr Haines, the horse owner, would stay overnight at the Royal Oak in the village, when on a shoeing visit.

The blacksmith had paper patterns of individual horse’s hooves and would sometimes need to take loads of horse shoes, pig rings etc in a waggon up to the farms on Salisbury Plain. He walked beside his waggon, with his heavy toolbox hanging from a stick across his shoulder.

Payment for his services was sometimes in kind. This could be in the form of a sack of coal, some thatching straw, or a cheese. Debts were settled on the twice yearly reckoning days held on Devizes Green.

We are very grateful to M B, the reporter, for all this detail and to the person who saved the article from so many years ago.

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