Baldock grandson shoes horse for grandfather’s hearse

Farrier Sean Dellar prepares Hugo the horse for his grandfathers funeral

Farrier Sean Dellar prepares Hugo the horse for his grandfathers funeral - Credit: Archant

The grandson of a well-known farrier will shoe the horses pulling his grandad’s hearse as a final mark of respect.

Oliver Kenchington, known as Jack the Blacksmith, worked in Baldock as a farrier for more than 40 y

Oliver Kenchington, known as Jack the Blacksmith, worked in Baldock as a farrier for more than 40 years - Credit: Archant

Oliver Kenchington, known to many as Jack the blacksmith, died last week aged 88 after battling prostate cancer.

Originally born in Dorchester, he moved to Letchworth to learn how to make horseshoes after serving in the Royal Navy in the Second World War.

In 1948 Mr Kenchington married his childhood sweetheart Georgina at St Mary’s Church in Baldock, before the couple moved to Norfolk where he shoed King George V’s horses for four years.

The couple then moved back to Baldock and lived in London Road, where they had two children – Shirley and Carole.


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Mr Kenchington continued to work as a farrier until the 1990s, retiring at the aged 72 when his grandson Sean took over the business.

Sean, 44, who has been a farrier since he was 15, said: “I always went with him when I was a kid, especially during the holidays. Sometimes he even took me out of school so I could help him with a bad horse.

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“Of course he’s having a horse-drawn hearse and I’ve shoed the horses that are going to draw it.”

His daughter Shirley said: “He was a fantastic man who lived for his family. He didn’t retire until he was 72 so that Sean could get the necessary qualifications to enable him to carry on the family trade, which was an amazing thing to do.”

The funeral will take place at Harwood Park Crematorium in Watton Road, Stevenage, from 1.15pm next Tuesday, July 29.

Mr Kenchington is survived by his wife Georgina, daughters Shirley and Carole and 11 grandchildren.

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