Irvine's Metal Workers, Goldsmiths And Jewellers
THE SMITH CRAFT WAS ONE OF THE ANCIENT TRADES OF IRVINE. IN 1419 THERE WERE TWO SMITHS IN THE TOWN, ONE IN THE PRESENT GLASGOW VENNEL WHICH WAS NAMED SMIDDY BAR OR SMEDDY BAR AND THE OTHER AT SEAGATEHEAD.
Originally the SMITHS or HAMMERMEN produced goods for sale in the local markets. These included pewter plates, basic cutlery and buckles. The SMITH CRAFT also embraced LORIMERS (clockmakers), SADDLERS, ARMOURERS and SILVER and GOLDSMITHS. By the middle ages the SMITHS were the leaders of industry. Not only did they forge weapons but farming tools and the implements for other craftsmen – hooks and shears for thatchers, chisels and picks for stone masons, and saws and adzes for carpenters…
Currently Deacon of the Hammermen for second time, joined Hammermen Craft in 1977. Previously Deacon in 1986-88 and Deacon Convener of the Incorporation in 1992/3. The most satisfying thing for me about the Trades is the work we do in support of local Charities by donating the funds we raise or equipment to assist their work. The Trades has introduced me to many new friends in Irvine and Cities further afield e.g. Glasgow, Paisley Aberdeen, Kirkcudbright and Edinburgh. Joining the Trades has for me been extremely worthwhile and enjoyable – why not try for yourself?
Robert Smallwood. Deacon of Hammermen
The Hammermen Craft originally comprised of craftsmen associated with metal working — dais included smiths, blacksmiths, goldsmiths, silversmiths, clockmakers, cutlers, armourers, pewterers and saddlers. The Craft records show that minuted meetings have been taking place since 1645 however there is evidence that the Hammermen Craft was active for many years preceding this date. In 1611 the trades of Irvine forcefully complained to the Privy Council over the imprisonment of a Smith (Hammermen) and Saddler. Today the Craft membership is drawn from all members of society. Every year at our Annual General Meeting known as our Wee Pie – we elect a new committee which consists of a Deacon, Collector and Court Member. The Wee Pie is our annual meeting at which we celebrate our successes, discuss the forthcoming year, approve our annual audited accounts, appoint a new committee and welcome new members and guests.
Our Wee Pie is normally held on the last Friday in September where a meal is served and entertainment is provided. On the night of the meeting an invited pest entertains us after the previously mentioned business has been discussed. The main element of the meal served on the the night is a pie — a wee pie.
The Hammermen Craft tries to stimulate friendship among its own members and those of other crafts and the wider community through events which it organises and participates in.
Annually Hammermen raise money through various fun raising events and disburse monies raised to local charities and other good causes.
In conjunction with six other crafts — Weavers, Tailors, Cordiners, Skinners, Wrights & Squaremen & Coopers – we make up the Incorporated Trades of Irvine (The Incorporation). The Hammermen Craft is recognised by all other Crafts as the senior Craft.