A NORTHUMBERLAND blacksmith is having a golden year after winning two prestigious awards.
Stephen Lunn, from Red Row, recently returned from Italy where he had been taking part in the World Forging Championships in Stia.
The 52-year-old decided to team up with two fellow English blacksmiths, Ian Moran, from Birmingham, and James Spedding, from Norfolk, for the team competition.
Despite only deciding to form a team when they met up at the event, the trio were crowned champions for their city scene, complete with skyscrapers, called From Stone Age to Iron Age.
Stephen said: “It starts at 8am and runs to midnight and each team gets a three-hour slot.
“We were on at 2.30 on Saturday afternoon in the heat of the day which wasn’t that nice, but everything fell into place.
“The Belgians won last time and were really keen to keep hold of the title. They had been practising for months.”
While he was there he stayed in an old monastery with the monks which he described as a ‘marvellous experience’.
Stephen’s first victory came when his individual expertise was recognised with the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths’ Tonypandy Cup
Named after the Speaker of the House of Commons from 1976 to 1983, Lord Tonypandy, the prize is awarded each year for outstanding workmanship.
And his craft has seem him involved in a number of interesting projects this year, including designing a piece for the new Wetherspoon pub, The Electric Wizard, in Morpeth.
Stephen has also been to Ireland as one of five masters invited to the international blacksmiths festival that took place in Monaghan Town at the end of June.
And he was invited to Poland to join other blacksmiths from around the world to create a work celebrating the 200th anniversary of a famous Polish blacksmith.