Ypres 2016 International Blacksmith Festival

It’s May already and Chelsea Flower show is in full swing. Although we haven’t exhibited at the flower shows for a while and miss doing them very much, I’m a sucker for all the excitement that surrounds them. This year there is an unveiling of thousands of crocheted poppies in honour of the armed forces:


Hand-forged-Steel-PoppiesFor the last 6 years an international group of Blacksmiths have been working on a tribute of their own creating a truly special event that is happening this September.  A striking new World War 1 Cenotaph will be created and will be positioned in front of Flanders Fields Museum in Ypres, Belgium. Hundreds of blacksmiths and farriers from around the world will come together in Ypres to create the Cenotaph (below) and memorial park in the week-long event held in the Market which was pretty much destroyed in the war.  To support this event Blacksmiths have been holding weekend Forge-in’s all over the world, hammering out beautiful steel poppies.

If you would like to help support this event, you could pre-order a hand forged poppy or a beautiful copper stamped poppy keyring or other items or just simply provide a donation… Anything would be greatly appreciated. A crowd funding website has also been set up and we need you guys to help support this great event.  8 million horses died in the war so it is apt that Michael Morpurgo, the author of War Horse, shares his view and asks for your help in this short video clip. For more information about this Ypres2016 event please take a look at the website www.Ypres2016.com where this is tons of information.  Also if anyone would like to share any stories of family connections with the war then please share them with us all on the Ypres2016 Facebook page.



I visited Ypres a few weeks back and found it to be a very beautiful and inspiring place; the history of war is everywhere which is truly thought provoking making it well worth a visit, if not for anything more than reflection and contemplation of what was sacrificed for us today.
We are all very excited to be going to the event in September, except possibly Molly – age 5, as she is more interested in princesses, unicorns, butterflies, and pretty dresses, but I did tell her about the amazing ice cream shop on the corner of the square, so every night we have been planning our mixture of flavours to experiment with.  With the help of our Belgium friends and the smiths from all over the world, this really does promise to be a most spectacular, fun, sobering, drunk, thoughtful, emotional, hard work, holiday ever – how could anyone want to miss out!



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