“DON’T look at the light”, blacksmith Jason Willie warns.

Blue smoke and sparks fly as his father welds in their East Grinstead workshop.

Jason says the light is so bright it can leave blisters in your eyes.

They last days, and all the blacksmiths here have had them. Jason says they “feel like cut glass”.

His father Melvyn wears a visor as the sparks jump.

Anvils Blacksmiths is 27 years old. Most business is modern metalwork now. They make steel T-beams for builders.

But Jason, 42, is a blacksmith and he hankers for the heat of the forge.

He walks across the yard to a small workshop, where a coal furnace is ready to be lit.

There is an anvil in the centre of the room. He rests his hand on it, saying: “We still do it the traditional, old fashioned way here.”

It takes half an hour to heat the forge up to 1,500C. At this temperature, the metal becomes cherry red and workable.

But Jason is not lighting it up today. A good job takes time. A traditional, curved gate ornament, or scroll, requires a day’s work.

The money now lies in the welding and metalwork side of the business – not the forge.

“Times are moving on,” Jason said. “It’s only your big city banker type that can afford our work now.

“Years ago the labour was so cheap. Nowadays we can’t even afford to train an apprentice.

“It’s a dying art. There’s a handful of us blacksmiths left, but not many.”

There’s still work to be had though. The railed Georgian houses on Brighton seafront provide a steady stream of income.

On a job, Jason and Melvyn go out to visit and measure up. They make fire escapes, balconies and “gates for posh houses in London”.

They've made railings with a royal crest for a Saudi princess and worked for The Clash bassist Paul Simonon.

It’s skilled labour and it takes five years to train. A good eye, they say, can see the years a blacksmith has put in.

It’s taxing, too. Jason’s hands are black with grime. “It’s a mucky old job,” he says.

“By the end of the day you’re shattered. You go home stiff and sore.

“I love it though.

“There’s nothing like a traditional forge.”