Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Tobias Cobrin and Ben Crosthwaite working at the Over Wrought Forge, Hastings.

Tobias Cobrin and Ben Crosthwaite working at the Over Wrought Forge, Hastings.

Vote for historic greenhouse restoration

Two blacksmiths are planning to forge a new future for an historic greenhouse as a community project. Tobias Cobrin and Ben Crosthwaite will restore and repair the cast iron frame of the structure at Alexandra Park, Hastings, but they need your vote to help do this. Lynda Foy of the Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group writes.

The Alexandra Park Greenhouse Group is in line to win between £8,000 and£12,000 from Tesco’s Bags of Help initiative to help turn the 1930s building into a horticultural and educational centre for community use.

Your votes are needed for the scheme called Framing a Growing Future and voting starts at Tesco’s stores in Church Wood Drive, St Leonards, and Ravenside shopping centre, Bexhill on Monday 31 October and runs until Sunday 13 November. The project will compete with two others in the South East to win the top award of £12,000.

Group chairman Linda Pearson said: “This is our first funding bid to be successful. We are just overwhelmed and delighted, so please vote for us!”

Tobias opened the Over Wrought Forge at Britannia Enterprise Centre in Waterworks Road, Hastings, two years ago. He and Ben, blacksmiths who specialise in artistic designs, will do part of the greenhouse work on site and some in their forge.

“We don’t know how long the work will take,” said Ben. “We need to get the upper windows working again, so that will be done on site. We will start numbering the parts and then take them out in sequence. They will be cleaned, painted, re-installed, and then we will take the next batch.”

Tobias added: “If any new parts are needed, we can’t cast them here, so that work will be outsourced.”

The blacksmiths met while studying at Hereford College of Technology and combine their artistic and design talents to make bespoke items such as gates, railings, towel rings, hooks, candlesticks and door knockers. Their work includes the metal bar stools for The Imperial pub in Queens Road in Hastings.

Ben makes sketches of customers’ ideas and then produces 3D models of them to show how the designs will look. Tobias and Ben run experience days for would-be blacksmiths. For more details, contact 07854 467438 or see their website

The next fund-raising event for the greenhouse will be a plant sale beside the Eat @the Park Cafe on Sunday, 30 October from 11am to 5pm. Join the group’s funding campaigns on their website or on Twitter and Facebook.


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Posted 09:43 Tuesday, Oct 25, 2016 In: Home Ground

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