WELL KNOWN Lanarkshire Suffolk breeder and blacksmith, Willie Henderson, has died. He was 86.
He was born and raised at Anvil Smithy, Newbigging, near Carnwath, where his father and grand father had plied the blacksmith’s trade.
The young Willie followed on and become a renowned farrier, shoeing some great Clydesdale stallions, including Dunsyre Footprint and Union Jack.
In the mid 1970s, Willie took up breeding Suffolk sheep, culminating in 1998 when he sold the top priced ram at Kelso Ram Sales for £10,000.
He later retired into Carnwath, but had been ill for a number of years. His wife Marion pre-deceased him, as did his brothers Walter and Jimmy.
When he retired from Anvil Smithy, the following notes were penned and included in the Order of Service at his funeral.

Each morn at six he lit his forge,
And then he made a start,
Wi’ his tools and his black metal,
He turned oot works o’ art.
Wrought iron gates or pony shoes,
A humble gird an’ cleek,
He’d fire the metal till red hot,
And saft as butcher meat.
Then he’d work it on his anvil,
Tae any shape required,
He would fashion every item,
Each customer desired.
There’s no much in black metal that
Willie Henderson never made,
He’d sharpen up your lawnmower tae,
Or mend a broken spade.
A like tae ca’ in tae the forge
And listen tae his craic,
O’ tales abooy his younger days
And busier times...’way back.
Then Clydesdales queued tae be reshod,
And cairtwheels tae be rung,
Horse drawn buggies, vans and lorries
Came in tae be resprung.
Alas, the motor vehicle
Put paid tae horse and cairt,
But then it ne’er outdid oor smith,
He could still play his pairt.
Now, for mair than 40 years,
Willie Henderson plied his trade,
His anvil’s rung a million tunes
Wi’ everything he’s made.
But time nor tide for no man waits,
Oor blacksmith’s now laid low,
He’s long since gone that final gait,
We all in times must go.
His fire’s cauld, his anvil’s mute,
The smiddy’s dark and bare,
His hammers, tongs and chisels now
Lie idle on the flare.
The smiddy door is closed and locked,
We’re left withoot oor smith,
None can deny, as time rolls by,
Willie Henderson’s fairly missed.