Our Story

Who we are & and the story behind our brand

Mobile Bar For Weddings - Waiter with tray of beer bottles

Who we are & our vision

Est in 2019,

The Swordmaker was nothing more than a bright idea scribbled on a piece of paper,  by our founder Josh Callon, whilst working in a coffee shop. An idea to bring a mobile bar into a room and transform the place into a DIY cocktail lounge, with the feel and magic of the real thing.

After an education in music and a year travelling, living and working in some of the most amazing places and top rated cocktail bars in New Zealand, Josh returned to the UK full of creative vigour and life. It was then it occurred that there must be a market here for the people who were missing out on what he had seen.

A self funded & turbulent endeavour is what unfolded as we ran straight into Covid 19, an extremely antisocial and disruptive time for hospitality and events. This gave life to our range of bottled cocktails, which worked as a fantastic marketing strategy to spread our story, to as many doorsteps as possible. 

Here in 2023, we have a new brand image, a well established reputation in the North East and have delivered over 300 private parties, cocktail classes and weddings to date.

Why the name?

Now I know there is probably a high chance that you’re wondering why we have the name we do.

Believe it or not, there’s a story to be told here, and it starts in the 17th century with a couple of skilful German families.

Somewhere in the mid 1600’s and subject to religious persecution, these families chose to flee their home of Solingen, Germany, where they were respected craftsmen – Sword Makers to be exact. These poor folk travelled to England where they discovered the gorgeous Derwent valley, where nestled away upon a creaky little river was a town named Shotley Bridge.  

Surrounded by vast iron stores in the ground and conveniently placed upon the soft watered river Derwent, Shotley Bridge was chosen by the families to set up shop.. Crafting their infamous hollow blade sword using their secretive and cutting edge method of steel tempering, the families enjoyed wild success and brought vast riches & prosperity to the area.

The significance of all this, comes from the fact that our founder Josh was born and raised in Shotley Bridge. He used the lore of the land as inspiration to create something special of his own and found huge inspiration in the humble yet impressive story of his town.

We believe in using top quality ingredients & materials, creating something memorable out of nothing & strive to offer;

‘Personalised, Quality hospitality which allows free flowing connections and conversations to cherish forever.’