Understood to be Charles Day at the Hethel Road smithy c1908
There had been a succession of Blacksmiths both in around around Wreningham for a very long time. They served both farmers and residents although the tools used in agriculture and the regular needs of horses must have been the most significant part of their trade.
Was Rebecca Skipper, Wreningham’s first / only female blacksmith? Born in 1800, she was the wife of Edward Skipper, also a blacksmith at the Hethel Road smithy. Edward Skipper died in 1857 and Rebecca appears to have been sharing the blacksmith’s role with her son after that date. She was also understood to be farming 10 acres of land.
Blacksmith’s apprentice horse-shoeing experiences
An Olympics Connection with Hethel Road Smithy
In the 1952 Helsinki Olympic Games, Britain’s only gold medal was secured by Harry Llewellyn riding the 12-year-old horse “Foxhunter” in the final phase of the team round.
In fact, Foxhunter had been bred by Knyvett Millard at Corporation Farm, Hethel. The horse, first named Eelskin, was bought for £60 by Leicestershire trainer Norman Holmes who had been visiting Norwich; the two men had met and got into conversation. The story goes that they drove out to Hethel to take a look at the horse. After the viewing, the horse was disappointed to lose their company and spontaneously jumped over each hedge to follow them back to Norman’s car.
After arriving in Leicestershire, the horse had been “spotted” by Harry Llewellyn. Less well known is that Foxhunter, in his Norfolk days, was shod at Wreningham’s Hethel Road blacksmiths – then still owned by the Bullimore family.