Less than 50 years ago, there were two blacksmiths in Helmdon. Today there is not one.
William Gascoigne – the last smith – closed his business six years ago, because trade was so slack.
Great changes have taken place since the days when the blacksmiths sometimes had to work nearly all night.
In those days, there was more work than they could manage. But recently trade slumped in the village and the rural craft had to die.
It was quite a wrench for Mr Gascoigne. After all, the Gascoignes are well known as blacksmiths in South Northamptonshire – he father was at Sulgrave, his uncles George and Jack were at Moreton Pinkney, and other relations at Culworth.
Fortunately, Mr Gascoigne is a versatile man. He has taken well to his new job – farming at Astwell Fields.
In fact, he has already won a number of cups for champion cattle and also many agricultural diplomas.
Mercury & Herald - June 4th 1954