Blacksmiths aim to forge a new future for historic greenhouse

Tobias Cobrin and Ben Crosthwaite. SUS-161024-141529001
Tobias Cobrin and Ben Crosthwaite. SUS-161024-141529001

Two blacksmiths are involved in an initiative to restore an historic greenhouse in Alexandra Park as part of an new community project.

Tobias Cobrin and Ben Crosthwaite will restore and repair the cast iron frame of the structure at Alexandra Park, Hastings, but they need the public’s help to do it.

The Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group is in line to win between £8,000 and £12,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative to help turn the 1930s building into a horticultural and educational centre for community use.

votes are needed for the scheme called Framing a Growing Future.

Voting starts at Tesco’s stores in Church Wood Drive, St Leonards, and Ravenside shopping centre, Bexhill, on Monday (Oct 31) and runs until Sunday, November 13.

The project will compete with two others in the South East to win the top award of £12,000.

Group chairman Linda Pearson said: “This is our first funding bid to be successful.

“We are just overwhelmed and delighted, so please vote for us.”

Tobias opened the Over Wrought Forge at Britannia Enterprise Centre in Waterworks Road, Hastings, two years ago.

The blacksmiths, who specialise in artistic designs , will do part of the greenhouse work on site and some in their forge.

Ben said: “We don’t know how long the work will take. We need to get the upper windows working again, so that will be done on site. We will start numbering the parts and then take them out in sequence. They will be cleaned, painted, re-installed, and then we will will take the next batch.”

Tobias said: “If any new parts are needed, we can’t cast them here, so that work will be outsourced.”

The blacksmiths met while studying at Hereford College of Technology and combine their artistic and design talents to make bespoke items.

Their work includes metal bar stools for The Imperial pub in Queens Road.

Tobias and Ben run experience days for would-be blacksmiths. Contact 07854 467438 or visit their website

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