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Tirrell - Ginns - Blacksmiths

4-10 High Street South

the smithy
The property in High Street South

Samuel Tirrell was born at Wilbarston in 1794 and was a blacksmith by trade. He married Elizabeth – a girl from Cogenhoe, in about 1830.

Their son Samuel was born in 1832 in Rushden, at the smithy near Rushden Hall estate gateway. Two years later a second son, Adam Chapman Tirrell was born, and a daughter Sarah Ann was born in 1840. A third son John was baptised in 1842 but died in 1845.

Samuel and Adam both became blacksmiths, working with their father, and Sarah Ann was a dressmaker.

Samuel senior died in 1862 and his wife died in 1869. In 1871 Sarah Ann was housekeeper to Adam Tirrell Ginns. In 1851 Adam was aged 12 and living with his parents Thomas Ginns, a carpenter and mother Mary, at Rushton.

He walked here from Rushton, in 1870 to take over the business. Adam Chapman Tirrell had been taken to the Northampton asylum, where he died in 1874.

The business was continued by Adam Tirrell Ginns and the smithy was rebuilt further back from the road, the property being copyhold of Rushden Manor. He married Annie Norwood in 1872 here. Later his son William Norwood Ginns joined him in the business. Both were members of St Mary's Church choir, along with several other family members.

The Rushden Hall Estate, owned by the Sartoris Family, included several houses and shops in High Street South. When the estate was sold in 1929, the Town Council purchased Rushden Hall and Grounds to create a Public Park, and William Norwood Ginns purchased No 8 by a mortgage on the 8th of February 1930. The purchase was "subject to the right of the owners of numbers 4 & 6 to use the common passage between number 6 & number 8 to the coal barns, W.C. and water tap, and the common pathway at the rear of them."

1910 Phillipson's Directory
A receipted statement dated 1947 signed by
William Norwood Ginns
at work
At work in the smithy - photo by Vic Childs
by kind permission of Rushden Museum

A few old posters were found when the building was demolished in 1975 : a list of prices charged in 1922 and 1929, as laid down by the Master Farriers' Association for Rushden, Wellingborough, Kettering & Thrapston Branch, and members could be fined £5 for charging at lower prices.
1922 prices
1929 prices

NRO Ref: Acc1977/327
1945 prices 1946 prices 1948 prices

Horses at the smithy
Horses for shoeing at the smithy - undated

Rushden Echo & Argus, 20th January 1950

A. T. Ginns & Son
High Street South

The Executors of the late W N Ginns have much pleasure in announcing that they have been able to make arrangements for the above business to be carried on as before.

Two fully qualified as expert Blacksmiths will be employed
and all classes of Smiths’ work can now be undertaken.

Old and New Customers will be Welcomed

Prompt Attention is Assured at all Times.

Jimmy Guinee was one of the expert blacksmiths who came in 1950 to carry on the business after William Norwood Ginns died. The premises in High Street South, between the park gates and the top of Skinners Hill, were sold when Jimmy Guinee left in 1972. During his time he had trained many apprentices in the smithy, to carry on this work.

Jimmy moved to live at Yelden and from there he rented premises at Chelveston Air Base, where he turned a mess room of the 305th Bombardment Group into his workshop and the bar became his office. Jimmy died at Yelden in 1988.

Rushden Echo, 1st July 1955, transcribed by Jim Hollis
Part of the ‘Spotlight on Rushden’ series

The village smithy is still there
Busy industrial town though it is, Rushden has many marks of the village which it was.

Close to the Hall is still to be found the smithy, and though heavy lorries rumble by outside, horses still come to be shod as they did in the coaching days, and there is a brisk demand for agricultural work. Mrs M A Ginns carries the business on, and in this picture Jimmy Guinee is busy on a shoeing job.

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