The Blacksmith continued to be an essential part of daily life in the new millennium making and mending with the same tools and in the same way as in previous centuries: horses still needed shoeing and farm machinery and implements still needed mending. However, the blacksmith's inevitable transition into mechanic gathered pace with the increasing popularity of the motorcar and the motorcycle.
Many Smiths even “had a go” at making their own motor vehicles and, to illustrate this, I have built a replica of an early 20th century “Voiturette” to show alongside my usual blacksmithing display. This is a working vehicle and can be driven, although only on private land as it is not road legal. It is inspired by the Leon Bollee “Voiturette” of the late Victorian / early Edwardian period.
Further aspects of everyday living particularly those of the housewife can be brought to life by my partner Gillie Jones. Using a variety of herbs and native plants, along with some of the more expensive imported ingredients she can create a number of simple remedies and household goods such as soap and cleaning materials as well as some luxury items, all of which would have been produced in the home. The Edwardian period is one in which cosmetics began to be almost respectable – thanks to the Suffragettes!! – though many women continued to be keener to make their own at home than to be seen (or have the expense of) making shop purchases…