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Joe keeps blacksmithing alive

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A teenager was ensuring the blacksmithing trade was front and centre for the millennial generation at the Good Old Days Festival in southern NSW.

Joe Reedy, of Wallabadah in northern NSW, donned his leather apron and was kept busy working the hot forge and hammering out draught horseshoes and fire pokers for an appreciative audience at the festival at Barellan on October 1-2.

The 15-year-old worked under the watchful eye of his father and blacksmith, John Reedy, learning how to keep a forge fire going, plus drawing and bending steel.

“I don’t know of anyone else my age keen to learn but it is very important to keep these skills going,” Joe said.

“It’s a dying trade and it won’t be too long before the older skilled blacksmiths disappear, and it won’t be carried on if no one does it.”

Joe plans to keep his hobby going in his spare time and enjoyed watching the authentic pioneering skills demonstrated at Barellan.

He also spent every spare minute soaking up tips and advice from the teamsters around the campfire as he pursues a goal of participating in the Festival with his own bullock team one day.

Narrandera Argus 13 October 2022

This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 13 October 2022.

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