North Norfolk village plumps for quality over cost in re-thatching work
PUBLISHED: 11:41 28 April 2017 | UPDATED: 15:23 28 April 2017
The traditional art of thatching is alive and well in north Norfolk.
When it decided to re-thatch its village shelter Marsham Parish Council could have looked at the cheaper option.
But it plumped for quality over cost and employed Norwich-based A & R Kelly thatchers to carry out the work.
And judging by initial impressions it looks like they took the best course of action.
The thatchers started work on Saturday, April 22 and should have finished the work by the time you read this.
It will have cost about £5,000 but Marsham Parish Council chairman Colin Hensby is happy with the result.
He said: “The thatchers did the Hevingham bus shelter as well and have met Prince Charles because of the work they’ve done on the Broads.
“It will have cost about £5,000 and we are paying for it out of the village precept we get. The previous thatching on the shelter was sunk in and it was virtually coming out of the top.
“We think the shelter was built around 1900. We’ve got no record of when it was first thatched.
“We have done small repairs to it in the past. We wanted quality even though we could have got it done cheaper.
“I think that many children may have been conceived in the shelter over the years.”
Fellow parish councillor David Grapes added: “I’m born and bred in the village and I can never remember the shelter being completely thatched. I don’t think it will need doing again in our lifetimes.”
Villager Mervin George, who lives near the shelter, which is just off the main A140 Norwich to Cromer road, added: “It looks very good.”
Richard Kelly, who runs the business with brother Alex, said it was a complex project.
He said: “You have to constantly keep the reed turned. It’s nice Ranworth reed. We took the original roof off and it was well past its sell-by date.
“We think this will be the third complete roof it’s had since it was built. The last one would have been in about 1950. The new one should last for another 50 years.
“We will put galvanised steel wire around the roof to protect it. It’s nice for us to do it. Historically, thatching is expensive, but we like to try and preserve more roofs from being turned into tiles.”
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