PICTURES: 70 years a blacksmith in 1958


82-YEAR-OLD Charles Augustus Villars (left) stands alongside the youngest of his three sons, Henry George Villars, at the blacksmith’s shop at the Public Health Department’s Maintenance Department, La Collette in January 1958 on the occassion of his completing 70 years as a blacksmith.

In 1888, aged 12 – and like many children of that time – he left school to work, and was apprentice blacksmith at Five Oaks Iron Works, working from 7am to 8pm in the evening for 1 shilling a week. Here he learned the rudiments of his trade, mending farm implements and shoeing horses. After four years there, he went to work for Peter Bois, who ran the South Pier Iron Works where he learned to be a ship’s smith. When the local shipbuilding industry declined, he went to work at Mont Mado Quarry, and from there to the Parish of St Helier in their yard at Westmount, where his son Henry was appprenticed to him and where they both remained for 33 years. Father and son worked together nearly all their working lives, the last years being spent at the States yard at La Collette.

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