Having grown up watching my Dad Thatching from a young age I started to help him on the roof during school holidays to earn a bit of extra pocket money. But after a while I became so fascinated with the craft that after I had finished studying A levels it felt like a natural progression to follow him in his footsteps.
Both of my Grandads have also been craftsman working in agriculture and joinery respectively. This has meant that working with them over the years, I have been passed down invaluable knowledge and skills of their trades that I am able to use in my business today. Using these skills I am able to complete minor carpentry, lead and building work should it be required on a project. If more complex work of this nature is needed then I am also able to recommend highly skilled and trusted local tradespeople to complete the required job.
I have been a member of the Wiltshire Master Thatchers Association for over 15 years and am the current secretary of the Association, a position I have held for over 10 years.
I am also an associate for the Thatch Advice Centre and am a recognised Master Thatcher in their Thatch Directory.
I have completed many projects across Wiltshire and the surrounding counties over the years from full or part re-thatches, new ridges, thatched walls, well heads, summer houses and smaller patching and emergency repairs.
I believe in maintaining a very high standard of work and always use the best quality materials for every project I undertake.
A large amount of my materials are grown very locally within a couple of miles of my home and each year we cut and harvest these ourselves. Having done this alongside my Dad and the local farmers for many years I have gained skills and knowledge to help produce top quality wheat straw and also be able to select the best quality materials from our other straw suppliers to suit any particular project.
I work with all materials including combed wheat straw, long straw and water reed using traditional methods and thatching in a regional style.
I have also learned the skill of coppicing and spar making as my Dad often had to make his own years ago. This meant we were often in the wood cutting the hazel or willow and then back to the barn to make the spars ready for the roof. Most of my spars and liggers are now made by a local spar and hurdle maker but I still enjoy being in the wood and making my own from time to time.
I also enjoy making straw animals or finials for the roof. Most of these are animals you might traditionally see sat up on a thatch such as pheasants, owls or my Dad’s signature animal which is a squirrel. I have also made ducks, blackbirds and as a special request (although not very traditional) a dragon!
I consider myself to have good customer relations and I am more than happy to discuss all things thatching with anyone. I also enjoy passing on my knowledge to my customers and often passers by who are always fascinated by the craft.