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BURCOT: David's forging a future - at smithy; Redundant MG Rover worker fired by new ambition.

Byline: By Emma Cullwick

WHEN David Franklin was made redundant from MG Rover he was one of thousands whose lives were thrown into turmoil.

With two young children and a mortgage, David soon took on a job as a boat builder in a desperate bid to pay the bills - but the dust from the glass fibre made him ill.

With nowhere else to turn, David, who worked at the Longbridge factory for more than 15 years as a fork-lift truck driver, made a brave decision to embark on a new career... as a blacksmith.

David, aged 39, and his wife, Sally, aged 36, have ploughed their savings and have borrowed to raise the pounds 10,000 needed to set up business at Burcot Forge, in Burcot, near Bromsgrove.

The forge has a series of outlets, from blacksmith to wood turner and dress-maker, which are all dedicated to keeping traditional crafts alive.

"David did blacksmithing as a hobby at home, but never dreamt he'd end up doing it for a living," said Sally, of Lauchmere Drive,Bromsgrove, who is mum to Taylor, aged five, and 16-month-old Kelsey.

"But when he went to see the forge he was in heaven and new instantly that it was something he should do.

"We've taken a huge financial risk, but we have our fingers crossed that it will pay off.

"Losing the job at MG Rover left him devastated, and it was a really worrying time for the whole family.

"But now he has a whole new lease of life and has turned a hobby into a dream."

Sally added: "Hopefully, other people who lost their jobs at Rover can find inspiration in his story and realise there is hope."

David makes a range of products from hooks to balconies and iron fences, and uses traditional techniques. The forge, in Alcester Road, is open to the public and the Franklins are hoping David's arrival will prove an added tourist attraction


HOT NEWS... David Franklin, who now runs Burcot Forge
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Nov 4, 2005
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