Passed down through generations: the Suffolk blacksmith helping to keep the tradition alive

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Russell Hookey

One of the country's youngest blacksmiths is passing on his skills as he tries to encourage more people to consider it as a career.

Paul Stoddart was just 18 when he entered the profession, becoming one of the youngest in the trade. Now aged 25 he's running classes from his workshop near Framlingham in Suffolk to give people basic metalwork skills.

Nationally there are now only around 2,000 blacksmiths left in the profession.

Paul joined the profession at just 18 years old Credit: ITV News Anglia

In an increasingly automated world, Paul is hoping more people will consider it as a career.

"I get people who are young, aspiring blacksmiths that really want to get started in the craft because it really is an inaccessible craft for many. I get a huge range of people, I've had 80 year old ladies with arthritis in both wrists, I've had people with learning difficulties, I get a broad spectrum of students.

"I would say just pick up a hammer and start hitting steel, it is the only way to learn!'