A founder member of the Stroud Valleys Craftsmen, set up in 1995, Bill believes in promoting the work of local craftsmen and keeping alive the Arts and Crafts tradition in the area. He exhibits at local shows and exhibitions, showing beaten copper work as well as his range of practical forged iron utensils.
Bill set up his own forge over thirty years ago in the garden of his cottage in Oakridge. Here he works using traditional forged ironwork methods and often traditional designs.
Bill has a reputation for individual gates, working to customers' own designs or adapting designs from old catalogues, as well as making practical items such as curtain rods, trivets, security grilles, windows and window stays, rails, balustrades and fireside furniture. He likes working on unusual or special orders, such as for weather vanes, chandeliers, garden arches. outdoor chairs, lamps, thatching hooks and the commissions for crosses which he has made specially for the chapel and the school in Oakridge. Gloucestershire churches and English Heritage have placed orders for Bills work.
Asked about the advantages and disadvantages of working in a small rural community, Bill reflects: 'Though you don't get passing trade,' he says, 'I like the quietness here. I feel I can concentrate and produce quality work.' He stands in the continuing tradition of craftsmen for whom quality rather than quantity is a keystone.
Bills Forge is at Woodbine Cottage, Oakridge Lynch Tel: 01285 760236