History Siddington Smithy

Peter Robinson and 2000 onwards

I had been working in the Alderley Edge area of Cheshire for around 15 years, initially operating out of various garages and borrowed sheds. Originally the business was focused on garden accessories, gates etc...

Following a strange and unexpected departure to Bristol Polytechnic studying commercial property law and management, (and getting massively into debt) I returned and set to re-establish myself in the ironwork business. I soon found the quickest way to get back on track was the rather demoralising job of security steelwork offering a 24 hour service. This strategy was successful with regard to paying off the debts but rather frustrating as all I really wanted to do was create interesting iron furniture.

Chess BoardMy big break came when a new gallery opened in Manchester and I was commissioned to design and build some eye catching security bars for the shop front. In addition, I filled much of the showroom with my experimental work, including a 20 square foot marble chess table and men.

This was a major step forward giving me the freedom to make what I wanted (hoping people would like it!). Within a couple of years, I had two more similar outlets in Macclesfield and Alderley Edge.

During this period I started to offer a range of curtain poles, this again proved immensely popular and I was soon receiving regular orders from a number of interior designers and curtain suppliers.

An important spin off from this was the amount of people requiring coffee tables, beds etc... to match their curtain poles! At about this time I was desperately looking for new premises; preferably a workshop with a showroom and a house attached - surely not much to ask for! Apparently it was, and after two years of searching I found one, but it was way over budget.

Ornate wrought iron bedHowever, I unexpectedly had a phone call form a past customer informing of a local smithy in need of some careful nurturing. A visit was arranged and the lease was soon signed. Within a few days I soon realised how much work was required on the premises and on the reputation that the business had gained. Any attempt to get the place straightened was punctuated by visits from both bailiffs and disgruntled customers wondering why their repair job had not been completed. I later found out that many repairs had been completed but then been sold on to other customers.

Undeterred and after a few months of hard work and free help from friends, the Smithy has now become an interesting subject for local artists and photographers. Similarly, customer appreciation improved and a wide variety of work was available. This was just as well as Susan gave birth to our first little one Lucy Anne Robinson in April 2001. This wonderful new arrival came with her own set of inbuilt needs and distractions namely an inability to sleep for nearly two years. Fortunately, this problem was overcome, only to be followed by the subsequent arrival of her partner in crime, Joseph James; born in March 2003.

ShowroomAs for the Smithy, business is good and now well established. The work load is varied, ranging form enormous dining suites for footballer's penthouse apartments to grappling with hooks for removing weed from garden ponds!

Finally, I am very honoured to be the custodian of such a wonderful property in a lovely area. Naturally the Smithy has evolved into the 21st Century but as much as possible the spirit and atmosphere has been retained.

Should you find my work of interest please arrange to visit, or contact us to discuss any requirements you may have.

Thanks, Pete.