To look at him, you wouldn’t think it was possible, but this year sees Ironart’s Luke Hannaford celebrate an amazing 40 years of service with us!
Luke started with the company in 1976, aged just 16, as an apprentice under the guidance of Sam Chantry, Ironart’s founder.
“In those days you did a bit of everything, learning the trade on the job. I worked on so many local projects in those early days; refurbishing the railings behind the Theatre Royal, Rivers Street, Brock Street, a job at Bowood House…
Ironart hasn’t changed that much to be honest! I’ve seen changes in management and different ways of doing things. There were only four of us here when I joined, now there are 12. In terms of the work we get, restoration projects have definitely increased which is great to see. And we do less heavy work.”
Luke spends more of his time fitting and installing on site these days – he loves the interaction with customers and being out in the fresh air!
“You don’t often hear about people being in the same job for 40 years these days do you. I might have a reputation with the younger ones here for being a bit of a grump – I’m allowed to be after 40 years! – but really they know I love it here and its good to see apprentices join the blacksmithing trade just as I did all those years ago.”
Not a big project, but great to have the chance to work inside Bath’s beautiful Abbey repairing the foot of their historic lectern – here are some pics of Luke fitting new heavy-duty casters to the base. The inscription on the lectern reads…“Presented to the Bath Abbey Church on its restoration by Ann G Bligh as a memorial to her late beloved husband Richard Bligh who died Aug 19, 1869”
Exciting Ironart newsflash! We have a shiny new Brompton bike in zingy tangarine orange to whizz in and out of Bath from our base camp here in Larkhall. No more sitting for hours on the London Road for us, especially with the announcement that there will soon be a new cycle lane along the A4 in Bath. Whoop whoop!
Loving the pics of Luke and Jason discussing the finer points of Brompton assembly… with much head scratching and amusement all round. Give us a hoot and a wave when we fly past you in those traffic jams!
Ironart’s Jason Balchin, Alan Patterson and Adrian Booth made these symmetrical handrails as part of a much bigger project incorporating double gates and railings for a lovely period house in Weston on the edge of Bath. The team reclaimed the original top strap from pre-existing handrails on the steps. These handrails incorporate decorative cast iron newel posts and were individually leaded in on site by Luke Hannaford. For more examples of bespoke gates and railings please visit the bespoke portfolio on our website.