JUST a few months ago, the future of the High Forest Show at Allenheads was uncertain.

But, following a grand auction that raised £4,000 in May, the village is now gearing up to host the show once again - and this year has a brand new attraction that organisers are hoping will draw in the crowds.

For the first time in more than half a century, a real-life blacksmith will be working the village's forge.

Show treasurer Sue Wardle hopes that having a blacksmith will bring more families to the show.

Sue said: "Last year the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty put on some activities to encourage families to come to the show.

"This year they wanted to put a blacksmith in the forge, but they got their weekends mixed up and said because the show doesn't fall on a heritage day they couldn't fund it.

"The Allenheads Trust decided that we liked the idea so much that we would fund it ourselves."

John Rutherford, from Fairley forge in County Durham, will be taking up the role of Allenheads Blacksmith, in the newly refurbished blacksmith shop.

Sue continued."John Rutherford from Fairley forge is a sculptor and metalworker.

"His work includes the Whittonstall Wickerman, a five metre tall steel and willow construction that watches over a family farm.

"He will be firing up the forge and demonstrating some simple blacksmithing techniques.

"The blacksmith shop has been done up and it looks really nice, it's worth a visit. It will be fantastic to have a real blacksmith working there."

The blacksmith shop was first built around 200 years ago, to house workers for the local lead mines.

By the 1850s it had become a blacksmith shop, which remained open until 1971, by which time the need for a blacksmith had dwindled. The building then stood empty until 1980, when the Allenheads Trust began to restore it.