Find a Thatcher

sparmaker2There are probably over 1000 thatchers working in the UK, many of whom use the title “Master Thatcher”. Unfortunately, this designation is backed by no official training, qualification or specific guarantee of workmanship, and can be used by any person who takes a fancy to it!

This is a great shame, because the term seems to indicate skill and prowess in the craft, which for the vast majority of thatchers will be the case, but on its own it is not a guarantee of either.

Thatching is not exactly cheap (if it is, you have probably chosen the wrong firm) so it makes sense to do a little research on the chosen company or individual, and the best way of doing this is to seek out examples of their work. All good thatchers are proud of their work and will be delighted to provide such examples.

If your roof is straw (long straw) make sure you find a thatcher who is skilled in this area. It is a different technique to reed thatching and some thatchers are not trained in its use, nor want to be!

Be wary of any thatcher who can start the job immediately. Good thatchers are in great demand and quality material (especially straw) is not always easy to come by. Expect to wait a few months (or more) before work starts!

There are a number of thatcher’s trade organisations of varying quality, but the chief among these is probably the National Society of Master Thatchers Ltd who have in recent years been in the forefront of championing the development of the craft and a better public perception of the thatchers work.

We think the NSMT is a good starting point for your search. Their site is divided into regions and displays details of the thatchers operating in that area. From time to time we will add the names of thatchers below who are not members of the NSMT, but in our personal opinion produce quality work.

Tim Anderson
Tim came to our notice when he extinguished a thatch fire whilst working down the road from the property in question, by removing the smoldering thatch around the chimney –

Naturally he earned the owner’s (and our) undying gratitude! Tim has worked on Wellow Wood Cottage for Richard Playle.