Memories of the last blacksmith of Hart

Bill Procter.
Bill Procter.
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Thanks to Annette Ogle who responded with more information on a Hartlepool man whose retirement marked the end of a town era.

It was Annette who told us more about Bill Procter who was the last smithy in Hart Village, bringing an end to a 200-year-old tradition.

I knew Billy quite well as I used to take my horse up to Hart smithy to get it shod. He was a very nice man and also made me a metal stand tripod stand so I could rasp the horse’s feet myself

Annette Ogle

She said: “I knew Billy quite well as I used to take my horse up to Hart smithy to get it shod.

“He was a very nice man and also made me a metal stand tripod stand so I could rasp the horse’s feet myself.

“Sadly there was no one to take over when he retired. As such it was closed down and he donated all equipment to the old Hartlepool museum in Clarence Road where it stood on display, around the late 60’s.

“The smithy was eventually knocked down and there’s only a road now, just oppose the White Hart Inn.”

We first asked for more details on Bill earlier this month when we told how the smithy tradition came to an end.

Bill had worked in blacksmiths shops ever since he left Hart Village School when he was only 14-years-old.

He then served an eight-year apprenticeship before he stepped into his father’s shoes.

Bill also served on Hart Parish Council when it was first formed. Later, he became the village’s representative on Stockton and District Council.

Our thanks go to Annette. We would love to hear from more people wanting to share memories of Hartlepool’s past, or their own family history.

Email chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk