The Village Blacksmith.
There have been many artists in Cookham through out the years, each famous, in his own sphere of work. The artist I am going to talk about now was known not for his skill with a brush and paints, but with a hammer, fire, and wrought iron.
Many a cottage and large house in the village had fire grates fashioned by one Tom Emmett, the village Blacksmith. Not only was a skilled blacksmith, he was a very good Farrier as well. Tom knew every farm horse by name; also he knew the size of shoes for each horse as well, and always had a set ready to be fitted, so as not to keep the horses off work for too long.
From morning to night, the sound of his hammer on the anvil in the forge, could be heard ringing out through out the village. We boys felt very privileged to pump the bellows of the forge. His soft country burr would say “ Don’t pump the bellows too hard boy, you don’t want to blow me fire out!” Just by watching, one got to learn a great deal from this man at work.