Chiswick Schoolchildren Get Lesson in Blacksmithing

Team repairing the Dukes Meadows Promenade gates give demonstration

The blacksmith shows the children the effect of decreasing oxygen on the flame
The blacksmith shows the children the effect of decreasing oxygen on the flame

Work to repair the Promenade Approach Gates at Dukes Meadows is nearing completion and the team that is carrying out the project has been demonstrating their craft to local school children.

The restoration is being funded by the Dukes Meadows Trust (DMT), Hounslow Council, Heritage of London and the Ironmongers Company

Pupils from nearby Cavendish Primary School visited the blacksmiths at work and the site during its transformation which forms part of Heritage of London Trust’s Proud Places programme.

During the visits, the blacksmiths showed the children the different properties of flames which can reach up to 3000°C and tools used to restore the gates.

The children also created drawings inspired by the workshops.

Georgina, 10, Cavendish Primary School, said, “I like the blacksmith with the fire. I liked his hammer! I want to know how many times he’s hammered his fingers!”

Amelia Black, Teacher, Cavendish Primary School, said, “I think that the visit has helped the children to appreciate the area around them. So many of them walk through that gate every single day without an inkling of the history attached to it!”

The works involve fixing the pintle and hinge bearing points, manufacturing new drop bolts and new jockey wheels, engineering new lock boxes, removing corrosion and repainting. The heavy gloss varnish applied in previous years to the brick piers has been be removed and the bricks and stone capitals repaired.

The Art Deco lettering is being restored. The works are scheduled to be completed by 16 June.

Paul Davis, Chair of DMT said “We were delighted to introduce Heritage of London to Cavendish School, which is right beside the gates. Children from the school were involved in the restoration project from an early stage and provided feedback about the importance of the gates that supported funding bids. it was terrific that they were able to see the restoration in progress.”

A close up view of the gates from the scaffolding

Dr Nicola Stacey, Director, Heritage of London Trust, said, “Proud Places gives young people the amazing chance to learn heritage crafts at first hand. This has been fantastic as it is literally on their doorstep.”

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June 5, 2022