Railings repaired two years after crash damage

Stephen and Susan Lunn with the mobile forge repairing the Rothbury railings
Stephen and Susan Lunn with the mobile forge repairing the Rothbury railings

Railings surrounding an ancient graveyard have finally been fixed nearly two years after a crash caused substantial damage.

The cast iron surround and masonry wall on the closed churchyard at Haw Hill in Rothbury, put in place in 1860, was damaged when a resident crashed into it on Boxing Day 2012.

But it took a year to work out who was responsible for the land, and claim on the vehicle’s insurance, and another year to find a blacksmith who could fix the damage.

And then, after it was found that Rothbury Parish Council was in charge of sorting out the work, investigations discovered that railing moulds made ten years ago had been lost by the forge that had gone out of business and had to be remade.

John Clark, of Elsdon Memorials in Rothbury, did the masonry repair, co-ordinating with blacksmith Stephen Lunn of Red Row, who took his mobile forge to the village in October, and along with his wife Susan repaired the railings and remade uprights using some of the broken pieces.

In November, Thropton painter John Kiely finished off the job to the delight and admiration of local people, the district church council and the parish council.

Coun Jeff Reynalds said: “Everyone has agreed that you could not tell there had ever been an accident.

“All are congratulated for their superior craftsmanship and going out of their way to make Rothbury look good in time for Christmas.”