Blacksmith on target to make flaming great display at top darts tournament
A DERBYSHIRE blacksmith is hammering out a name for himself for unique commissions having produced a giant flaming dart for the world championships.
Steve Oldknow, more accustomed to battering railings and horseshoes into shape, was asked by an old school friend working for Ladbrokes to make the giant Olympic torch-style dart.
From the glare of Little Eaton Smithy, the massive dart was transported to the glare of publicity surrounding the launch of the World Darts Championship.
The dart cost more than £1,000 to make, having been fashioned from aluminium and steel with a flight made of Perspex.
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It was designed and manufactured at the Little Eaton Smithy, based in Alfreton Road.
Once completed, the dart was sprayed with gold paint and a paraffin burner and wick were added in order to create an Olympic torch effect befitting the tournament taking place at the Alexandra Palace, in London.
The commission came about through Duffield public relations consultant Robin Hutchison who was working for championship sponsor Ladbrokes.
Mr Hutchison contacted his friend Steve and asked him to make the dart to promote the championships and help persuade officials to allow the game into the Olympics.
It has been on display at the venue for the duration of the tournament, which comes to a close on New Year's Day.
There will be a petition calling for darts to be included in future Olympic Games.
The Little Eaton Smithy can trace its history back 350 years. After a period of neglect, it was re-ignited by Mr Oldknow's father Peter in the 1980s. His son took over three years ago.