The village blacksmith

The village blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut-tree
⁠The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands,
And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow 1807 – 1882


Charles Turkington 1879 – 1947

Smith and plough-maker

Charles and Margaret Turkington - Moira blacksmith

Charles and Margaret Turkington – Moira blacksmith

In days long gone, every village needed a blacksmith and Moira was no different. It did not matter whether you were a landowner or a labourer, a ploughman or turf cutter, a shop owner or a traveller; sooner or later you needed the strength and skill of the man at the anvil.

For at least two generations, that service was provided in Moira by Turkington’s Blacksmith shop on Main Street, next door to Job Palmer’s shop. His eldest son Sam carried on the business and probably another son Cecil. Tom Kennedy who lived a few doors up the street also worked there. Two of Charles’ brothers also worked as blacksmiths, one in USA and another in New Zealand.

I am grateful to Charles’ grandson Bob Ferris for the use of the family photographs.

Charles Turkington original image. His son Sam is seated on the left of the group.

Market House and Job Palmer's

Market House and Job Palmer’s

Coon’s iconic photograph of Moira almost certainly shows Charles Turkington, with arms folded, standing at the door of his blacksmith shop.