Somerset Smithy

Somerset Smithy

Somerset Smithy 150 150 Frome Heritage Museum

About the time Singers sold their art metal work to the Morris Art Bronze foundry of London, some of the employees preferred to remain in Frome. Among them was John WHITE, who set up his own business making hand wrought ornamental ironwork in 1922. He was joined by another craftsman Robert HOLLEY, and was later joined by his two sons, the firm becoming John WHITE & SONS. Using first an old stable in Willow Vale he moved to Christchurch Street West in 1947, where it remains. Later it became the Somerset Smithy.

The firm specializes in wrought iron gates and hand forged leaf and scroll work as the advertisement describes. Among its products were memorial gates in memory of Jack White, one of Somerset’s greatest cricketers, at the Somerset County Cricket Ground.

The tradition of iron working continues to this day, with at least 5 small foundries within the vicinity. Their craftsmanship was displayed in Library Square where five tree guards were commissioned by the District Council in 2002. Four of these have been removed to Vctoria Park ready to guard newly planted trees.