The turnout was more than the 80 people that were expected to attend the official opening of the blacksmith at the Bathurst Agricultural Museum last Friday.
Locals came in numbers to support the event which had a festive atmosphere. It was the culmination of a long-held dream to have a working smithy at the museum, which features many tractors and vintage farm machinery kept in working order by a team of dedicated volunteers.
The shed housing the blacksmith forge includes a mechanical wheel and an animal power section.
“It took us 15 years to officially open the blacksmith,” museum chairman Alan Pike said.
During the opening he thanked a number of people who made the blacksmith possible and contributed to the success of the event.
“Hobson and Co Smithy helped us a lot with the substantial amount of money that they donated to us. Our former mayor Sipho Tandani also helped us with the municipal plan, as that was also something that stopped us from building,” he said.
“But we are grateful to everyone who chipped in to help us make today possible.
“We don’t have government funding. People volunteer to do the work for us on their free time, they work tirelessly to help us at the museum and we really appreciate that,” said Pike.
“We rely on admission fees, memberships, and sponsorships for everything in the museum and we sometimes do a lot of fundraising. We are happy about today, we are trying to build a farmyard and we proud that our museum over the years has grown into six different halls/sheds,” Pike said.
After the opening, people proceeded to Pike’s Post for some nice food, cheese and wine which was set up beautifully by the Ploughman Pub.
BY NTOMBENTSHA MSUTU