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Iron man Alastair forging new career as smithy
STUDENT Alastair Weldon is set to forge a glowing career after scooping a blacksmith bursary.
He has received the £1,000 award from the Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths to help with his course at Kingston Maurward College, near Dorchester.
Alastair, 17, is studying for a level two qualification in blacksmithing and hopes to go to Herefordshire College of Technology for his level three qualification in the autumn.
Alistair said: “It’s brilliant to get this from such a body of professional blacksmiths.
“They are such a high class of blacksmiths and to be recognised by them is brilliant.
“It is just great and will help me hugely.
“I wanted to be an artistic blacksmith from an early age and it is like they are investing in me.”
Alistair, who is among 10 students on the course, aims to be a self-employed blacksmith concentrating on the artistic side of the craft, accepting commissions.
The Wor-shipful Company of Black-smiths award is the first to a student at Kingston Maurward.
Alistair paid tribute to his blacksmith tutor Simon Grant-Jones and welding teacher Justin Butler.
Alistair, who lives in Somerset, said: “They have been inspirational.
“It was them who pointed me towards the bursary.”
He added: “I also really want to say how grateful I am to the Worshipful Company.”
The Worshipful Company of Blacksmiths was first mentioned in the records of the City of London in 1299. It developed from an ancient craft guild based in the City.
Tutor Simon said: “I’m delighted for Alastair.
“He really deserves the bursary. He works incredibly hard at college, with excellent res-ults.
“I’m also really pleased that the Worshipful Company has recognised our college, what we do and what we’re trying to achieve.
“It’s inspiring for the students too.
“It’ll encourage more to apply for the award in future.”
As a newly-appointed Licentiate College, Simon is now a Freeman of the City of London, an acc- olade which dates back to the 13th century.
John Barber, chairman of the WCB’s charity committee which allocates these bursary awards, said: “I am delighted to be able to announce this award to Alastair Weldon, whom we understand to be a most promising and diligent student. “This is the first award we have been able to make to Kingston Maurward College which has only recently been accredited by the WCB. “We sincerely hope it will be the first of many.”
The company was incorporated under a Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I in January 1571.