Mayfield Blacksmith’s Procession looks to be reinstated in 2012

A DRAMATIC Mayfield celebration held in the village since time immemorial looks set to be reinstated next year after a two year break.

November 26 was the date scheduled for the historic village Blacksmith’s Procession.

But organiser Earl Bradfield told the Express it has now had to be cancelled for the second year running.

He explained there was a great deal of bureaucracy involved in applying for various permits and that there has not been enough time for suitable consents to be granted.

But he promises the Procession will return to its former glory in 2012.

The Blacksmith’s Procession marks the legendary battle between St Dunstan, patron saint of blacksmiths, and the devil.

St Dunstan pinched the devil’s nose with his red hot pincers and the end of his nose flew across the village, bounced in Mark Cross (hence the name) before landing in Tunbridge Wells where it heated the famous chalybeate spring, hence the faintest whiff of sulphur from the waters there.

Earl Bradfield, who takes the role of the blacksmith, described how the procession begins at the Carpenters’ Arms and progresses along the High Street to the War Memorial where the anvil is ‘fired’ with gunpowder.

The mythical fight takes place before the anvil is towed to the Middle House, fired again and back down to the Carpenters’ Arms for its final firing.

The main players are accompanied by hosts of devil’s ‘disciples’ while the county’s blacksmiths take up cudgels on behalf of St Dunstan.

Earl Bradfield said arrangements are now set in place for the event to take place on the last Saturday of November 2012.