Farrier steels himself for a new beginning

Blacksmith Gordon Wilson.
Blacksmith Gordon Wilson.

A well-known tradesman who has run his own company for more than four decades has passed part of the business on to a new owner, and insists it is in good hands.

Blacksmith and farrier Gordon Wilson has recently handed over the steel fabrication side of the firm to Glyn Bird.

Glyn Bird.

Glyn Bird.

Having changed hands, the metalwork business will now be called Gordon Wilson Ltd, but will remain at its South Road home in Alnwick.

But Gordon, aged 64, is not putting his tools down. Instead, he will be focusing his time in the equine sector and will trade as GW Farriers.

While he will still be based on South Road, Gordon intends to be out and about with customers as much as possible.

He is setting his sights on working for as long as he can.

“I am not retiring. Instead I have handed over the steel fabrication side of the business to concentrate on the equine side. I want to carry on for as long as I am fit enough to,” he said.

Gordon, from Alnwick, started working when he was 15, beginning his career at the town-based workshop of master farrier Jack Smith.

But in 1971, when Gordon was 22, Mr Smith retired, leaving him to take on the business.

Gordon changed the name to Gordon Wilson Blacksmiths but remained in the workshop on Gills Lane. It wasn’t until the early 1990s that he moved to the South Road site.

He said: “When I first started it was basically horses and agricultural repairs but as time went on I went on to supplying the building trade and doing things like railings and gates and built up from there. I have still got customers from 42 years ago.

“I have handed over the steel fabrication side of the business and it is good hands with Glyn.”

Glyn lives in Alnwick and has been in metal work for 35 years. He said he wants to continue to serve Gordon’s loyal customers and the firm is extending its services, also catering for stainless steel and architectural metal work.