PICTURE GALLERY: Fernhurst Furnace Open Day

Visitors flocked to Fernhurst Furnace Open Day, the best preserved wealden iron works in the country which was once again open to the public for tours and demonstrations.

Three centuries ago, the furnace was a major industry providing employment for many people in the surrounding area and the event was a chance to see how life would be lived when the ironworks was making cannon 24 hours a day.

Members of the Sealed Knot

Members of the Sealed Knot

Robin Barnes, the owner, was there to explain how it worked, who used diagrams and a working model to illustrate his talks.

All around there were other exhibits taking visitors back to the 1700s and how people lived three hundred years ago.

The Sealed Knot and Sir Marmaduke Rawdon’s Regiment of Foot gave demonstrations by pikemen and musket firing.

Sparsholt College showed dibbers, bee homes and whistles all made from wood.

Tilford Rural Life Centre had a mass of tools from the past although many have modern equivalents. Mark Allery, on his pole lathe, made everything from rounders bats to kraut batters and added scythes to his range.

Weavers sat and spun both wool and silk died with natural dyes. Walking sticks were made with carved or horn handles.

A falconer flew a variety of birds which would have been used for sport as well as pleasure.

Glass blowing attracted a fascinated crowd watching bowls and vases being made and hearing about the history of glass blowing in Britain.

The RSPB and the SDNPA both had stalls and to complete the cycle for the inner man as well, homity pie, barbecued lamb and good ales from Ballards were all on sale as well as hot dogs, cakes and coffees.

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