From someone as a small boy:
I spent many happy hours with the blacksmiths in the lane near my home in Skibbereen.
Jack McCarthy was particularly welcoming and involved me in simple tasks which made me feel important. Cranking the bellows was really exciting and handing him tools, first in a confused state when asked for and later handing each tool before any request.
I still love to watch people with skill in their hands at work.
Note how welding has crept in
Blacksmiths Durrus, Kilcrohane, Schull and Tumbarumba, New South Wales:
Elihu Burritt (1810-1879), ‘The Learned Blacksmith’, of Boston, USA, Visit to Skibbereen, West Cork, 1847 to ‘Fathom The Cause of Extent and Cure of Ireland’s Misery, his Pamphlet ‘Four Months in Skibbereen’ raised $100,000 for Famine Relief and his Project the Jamestown Relief Effort.
I would imagine there are few blacksmiths in the country now. Another dying trade unfortunately.