A BLACKSMITH shared his passion for hot metal with novices aged from 11 to 83 at his unique forge on the Victorian street at Preston Hall Museum.

Former schoolteacher Peat Oberon has produced architectural, sculptural and decorative ironwork since he became a full-time blacksmith in 1980.

He has been based at the Preston Hall forge in Eaglescliffe, Stockton, for 36 years where he uses an adapted Scandinavian model to make fires, tools and anvil stands.

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His intensive one-day course on Saturday attracted pupils of all ages who were keen to learn the traditional setting at the former home of industrial magnate Robert Ropner, Preston Hall, which houses a varied collection of Teesside’s treasures.

Mr Oberon, who was born in Middlesbrough, is the seven times winner of the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths Cup at the Great Yorkshire show.

He was a jury member at the World Forging Championships in Italy and demonstrates his craft across Europe.

His last major commission was to make replacements of 25 Victorian finials for Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College in Darlington.

“The courses I run are strictly educational and prescriptive. There are only short breaks as it is not easy and there much to do,” he said.