My thatching 'story' started in around June 1980 just prior to graduating from Warwick University. I came upon the idea of thatching as a summer job which I thought would give me some more time to find a 'proper' job. Over 40 years later that 'proper' job never materialised and so my thatching journey has been a continues one - and for that I'am so grateful.
Thatching has allowed me to travel and to see some of the most spectacular scenery across nearly every county and corner of the Home nations. I have been privileged to work further afield such as in the United States, Africa, France and Ireland. My work has given me access to some of the most incredible properties, gardens and landscapes. I have had peoples trust put in me and put my trust in others. Working as we do sometimes for several weeks on a property has meant I have not just met, but I've got to know some extraordinary and interesting Thatch Owners. They have given me an insight into their lives, their work and their families.
I remember the first elderley Thatcher I ever spoke to, once said to me that his working life had been a continuous succession of hellos and goodbyes. Nearly four decades on I could not agree more with that sentiment.
Thatching is not an exact science and every thatcher will work and finish a roof in different ways. They will have reasons for doing this and it is important for the customer to know and understand what those reasons are.
As with anything, for thatching to grow and prosper, a coherent narrative, based on 'the here and now' needs to be put forward by Thatchers. Although we practice a centuries old craft and are by and large solitary workers we are not immune from everything that a fast - changing world throws at us. Relying on past methods and procedures is no guarantee of the future, no matter how much we want it to be.
Thatching may not be everyone's career choice but I passionately believe that it is up to all of us that practice this wonderful craft to pass on our knowledge and skills so future generations will be able to continue in our footsteps. Hopefully I am doing that and hopefully my 'trainees' will derive as much pleasure from thatching roofs as I have.
Director & Master Thatcher