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Adam adds a new skill to his armoury.

Byline: Mike Lockley Staff Reporter mike.lockley@trinitymirror.com

ENGINEER Adam Blockley hasn't looked back since launching his own mail order business.

Chainmail order, that is.

After being made redundant, he now works knights making English Civil war armour.

It's a serf-fire winner. And the 38-year-old is celebrating after scooping a lucrative order from the National Civil War Centre in Newark, Nottinghamshire, which is set to open on May 3. Adam had been commissioned to craft a 16ft pike, 17th century breast plate armour and helmets.

He's making the pieces at a smithy close to the site of the Battle of Edgehill.

Adam, from Kineton, Warwickshire, is an English Civil War re-enactor and decided on the career change five years ago.

He saw it as a way of combining business with pleasure.

"I've got a background in fine art, sculptor and blacksmithing, so it wasn't a total leap into the unknown," he said.

"I use the same techniques as the 17th century armourers and do a lot of research to get things right, even down to leaving hammer marks on munitions grade breastplates.

"Authenticity is the goal.

It is time-consuming but I want to get things right. In the summer when the forge is busy it's hot and in the winter it gets chilly, but it's a rewarding job and something I'm passionate about."

Ninety per cent of orders come from fellow re-enactors who need customsized gear. It's a long, painstaking process, with a pikeman's helmet taking two days to shape out of mild steel.

Adam uses an original crimping technique to join the two halves.

He added: "During the civil war such metal was reserved for the higher status soldiery, with the rank and file using softer iron.

"Paradoxically, the latter proved better at absorbing the impact of musket balls when used for breastplates - an early version of a bullet-proof vest."

The National Civil War Centre is dedicated to the conflict which raged from 1638 to 1653 and has been boosted by a PS3.5 million Heritage Lottery grant.

The centre's Carol King said: "Comfort took second place to protection in the 17th century and many visitors will be surprised at the weight of even a replica civil war helmet."

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Adam uses the same techniques as in the 17th century |and does painstaking research to ensure historical accuracy

Adam Blockley set |up his own armoury business after being made redundant

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Mar 31, 2015
Words:403
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