Hector Moore - Renowned Blacksmith


Product Information

Mary Moore married Hector in 1954 when she was aged just 20.  As an Art Student she brought her design skills to the Forge and they were soon preparing special commissions for such as Trusthouse Forte for The Bull at Long Melford and elsewhere.  She has designed no less than 53 Suffolk Village Signs.  Mary observed and absorbed much from Hectors skills and experiences and such was her interest that she sings for us ‘The Yellow Handkerchief’ a favourite Suffolk song that she learned whilst it was sung in the forge.  She tells how she would entertain village communities with her friend Joan Rix and of her many observations and shared experiences of life at work with Hector.

Hector Moore left school at 14 to become apprenticed as a Blacksmith and at 17 he was handled the forge on his own from his Grandfather.  Their family tradition as Blacksmiths can be traced back to the 17th century.  Hector was a man steeped in the old traditions, having persevered in the company of the old horsemen in the pubs in purist of their knowledge and traditional knowhow.  ‘Its no good asking questions’ he said ‘they’ll clam up if you do.  You have to wait for it to come out’.  Such was the case, indeed, with Hector himself as can be heard in the 1981 interview here.  Stuart Gurling, who made his interview when he was 17, lived almost next door to Hector and had known him all his life and approached Hector as part of a 6th form project.  Hector clearly wanted to help the lad and told him more, I believe, than he told Ronald Blythe (Hector appeared in his popular book Akenfield) and even George Ewart Evans.  Hector loved nothing better than working with horses and here expands on his great observations of horse culture.  Furthermore he tells Stuart that there are things, such as the forgsbone which is witchcraft, that Blacksmiths keep as secret and that he cannot tell him about and then proceeds to tell him!  I believe that this interview is exceedingly important for the information that Stuart collects on the Blacksmiths psychic powers that Hector inadvertedly admits to using.

We have digitally enhanced Stuart’s audio recording as far as possible and to complete it as a DVD, the same as Mary’s we have added video footage, by kind permission of Roger Clark, of horses being worked by Roger and horseman Derek Filby at Weylands Farm, Thorington Street.  Roger Clark is a farrier and equally steeped in the horseman’s tradition and as was Hector, one of the last to be part of and to cherish and carry this traditional folk life history surrounding the horse.  The heavy horse that we have today is merely a living symbol of an age and it is as important only as the ‘invisible’ history, of it’s age, that it carries.  It is only people like Hector and Roger who carry this wealth of time honoured knowledge that can enlighten us as to the real age and purpose of the horse.

Two DVD’s of 1 hour approx. each  Produced:  September 2011

Product Code: NLDVD45




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