Heritage locomotive workshop reincarnated
EVELEIGH: Eveleigh Works, Sydney’s newest blacksmithing and metalwork school, officially opened their doors on Sunday April 2. Over 600 people from all walks of life came to check out the 130-year-old former industrial blacksmithing workshop at the Eveleigh Locomotive Workshops. The blackened walls and 1880s arched window of the former heat-treating department acted as backdrop to live music by The Sweet Jelly Rolls, Skyscraper Stan and Indigo Rising.
Co-founder Matt Mewburn captivated punters with a series of forging demonstrations, showing off the capacity of the Massey 7cwt power hammer. The audience got a kick out of watching Matt retrieve red-hot billets from a roaring furnace, and the huffing and stomping of the 65-year-old Massey hammer – kids practically bowled over the blast screens to get closer to the action.
Resident knife-making tutor, Keith Fludder, mesmerised the crowd and showed off his blade forging skills, forging a statuesque bowie blade. Attendees filled their bellies with some tasty fare by FBi Sydney Music, Arts and Culture Award-winning restaurant of the year, Rising Sun Workshop, while the sounds from the bands reverberated through the shop.
The school occupies the first two bays of the former Eveleigh train manufacturing facility in Redfern. The facility stopped being used for the manufacture of trains in 1987. It was kept in working order and its heritage championed under the watchful eye of Guido Gouverneur and Wendie McCaffley for the next 25 years.
Eveleigh Works offers short and accessible courses in blacksmithing, sculpture and knife-making. Classes are open to anyone regardless of skill level.