Successful Community Blacksmithing Event at Capel Manor College’s Brooks Farm Campus in Leyton

London’s leading land-based College partnered with the Urban Crafts Foundation (UCF) to offer a free community event in Leyton that helped support the UCF’s funding bid for a Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture Award.

The event was held at Capel Manor College’s Brook’s Farm Campus in Leyton from 13 to 16 September where the Urban Crafts Foundation set up its mobile forge for members of the local community and students from local schools to come along and learn iron forgery.

The UCF is a Community Interest Company that offers blacksmith courses for children and adults from challenging backgrounds from their base at Lambourne End Centre. Part of the criteria for submitting a funding application required the UCF to partner with an organisation that could host and support a community-led activity in Waltham Forest.

Capel Manor College was a natural choice to get involved with the project, as the College teaches many traditional and practical skills across its offering of courses for young people and adults passionate about animals, nature and the environment.

Over the four days, the UCF welcomed over 260 people of all ages who were excited to learn and take part in blacksmithing classes. Additionally, a coppersmithing activity that did not involve heat was also on offer for younger children.

Everything made by the visitors and the ironwork specialists from Urban Crafts Foundation at the forge will form part of a beautiful arch that will become a permanent feature at Capel Manor College’s Brooks Farm Campus.

Lizzie Hughes, artist and part of the Urban Crafts Foundation team says, ‘This was a real community event and it was great to see young people and the older generation all working together. We hope that in a couple of months when the arch is installed everyone who helped to make it will come and see it and have a sense of ownership.’

Collette Delle Grazie, Marketing and Communications Officer at Capel Manor College added, ‘The College is delighted to have been involved in this project and to help the Urban Crafts Foundation with its funding bid. The UCF’s ethos and passion for teaching practical and traditional skills aligns perfectly with the College’s hands-on and creative outdoor learning experience.’