Simon's blacksmithing career started with the National Diploma in Blacksmithing and Metalwork at Hereford College of Technology, driven by a desire to work in the heritage conservation sector. His commitment to the craft and traditional skills learned there meant he was awarded the Best Practical Student, and the Tutors Awards. Following this, he spent 11 months working on a Traditional Building Skills Training Scheme bursary with silver medal winner Richard Bent FWCB.
Once this hugely influential placement was completed, a journeyman lasting several years ensued. Simon travelled the UK working alongside some of the current masters, including Brian Russell and Shelley Thomas. Throughout this journeyman, he continued to focus on traditional hand forging skills, and mastering the techniques of the traditional blacksmiths.
Winning a place on the National Heritage Ironwork Group's conservation bursary programme put the final piece of the jigsaw in place. This year long project filled in the gaps in knowledge in regards to sympathetic conservation of historical ironwork. The time spent on the NHIG building on his practical skills, combined with the conservation skills learned, enabled him to set up in business with Alex to create the Heritage Blacksmith Partnership.
With the continued success of the partnership, and the huge variety of work they have performed, Simon's hand skills continue to increase, with the oft-muttered phrase "every day is a school day" summing up his drive to create and replicate the best work of past masters.