My thatching career started a couple of months after leaving school at the age of 16, after thinking long and hard about what path I wanted to take I choose this one, knowing it would always be a skill I could fall back on.
After writing to over 30 thatcher’s from Cornwall and Devon to ask to take me on as an apprentice, I received just one reply from a highly renowned thatcher from Exeter, he agreed to take me on for a weeks trial as he told me thatching wasn’t for everyone, thankfully I impressed him and couldn’t wait to learn more.
A year and a half later after having mastered much of the groundwork I moved slightly closer to home and began work with a thatcher from Bude, this is where I stayed for the next 6 years learning my craft. A traditional apprenticeship can be between 5-6 years with at least 1-2 years of that being on the ground, learning proper reed and wheat preparation and most importantly, learning how to sweep up right!
When I finally felt confident in my ability’s I decided I wanted to learn some different variations so I started to sub contract for other thatcher’s. I started work for a firm in Southampton, they had many thatcher’s working for them and got jobs all over the country and abroad, my first job was in Ireland! After this I also did jobs in Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Wight and pretty much everywhere in-between. During this time I learnt so much from having the chance to work with many talented thatcher’s, there is always more than one way to do something.
I then left 2 years later to join another thatching firm based near reading, working mainly the Oxford and Northampton areas, I stayed here for a further year before heading home to Cornwall. Here I worked with two more thatching firms, the last one being where I met jack.
After working along side jack for a couple of years we both decided we were at a point of our careers where we wanted to set up on our own, so that’s is what we did and we haven’t looked back since. 3 years on and our company is getting stronger every year.
After starting our company I’m proud to say I have been accepted into the master thatcher’s association, which was a career, long dream for myself and have managed to work on some amazing buildings and meet some very talented people. Long may it continue.