Search

Traditional reed cutter to celebrate skill with villagers for Norfolk Day

PUBLISHED: 16:30 24 April 2018

Reedcutter, Wally Mason, who is organising a family day for Norfolk Day at Rockland St Mary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Reedcutter, Wally Mason, who is organising a family day for Norfolk Day at Rockland St Mary. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

It was a common sight on the Norfolk Broads for several decades.

Reedcutter, Wally Mason, who is organising a family day for Norfolk Day at Rockland St Mary. With him is his son, Luke. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYReedcutter, Wally Mason, who is organising a family day for Norfolk Day at Rockland St Mary. With him is his son, Luke. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

But because of changes in technology the number of traditional reed cutters working across the county is in decline.

Reedcutter, Wally Mason, right, who is organising a family day for Norfolk Day at Rockland St Mary. With him is his son, Luke, left, his four-month-old granddaughter Violet, and landlord of the New Inn, Robert Webb. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYReedcutter, Wally Mason, right, who is organising a family day for Norfolk Day at Rockland St Mary. With him is his son, Luke, left, his four-month-old granddaughter Violet, and landlord of the New Inn, Robert Webb. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

One of the few remaining people carrying on the tradition is Wally Mason, 70, from The Street in Rockland St Mary.

Norfolk Day LogoNorfolk Day Logo

Mr Mason, a grandfather-of one, goes out by boat, uses a scythe and bundles reeds together by hand rather than using a fuel-powered machine.

As part of the first ever Norfolk Day, he will be showing off his skills, promoting Norfolk’s waterways and nature and its long-running rural traditions at a family fun day on July 28 at the New Inn, Rockland St Mary.

Mr Mason, who has passed on traditional reed cutting to his three sons, said: “There is no better place to live than in Norfolk. I do reed cutting for the love of it and I’m proud of it.

“I’m one of the last traditional reed cutters. I’m set in my old fashioned ways.

“It is hard work but I enjoy it.

“I like the peace and quiet of the water. What you see when you are out there is unbelievable.”

The 70-year-old used to spend up to 12 hours a day cutting reeds around Rockland Broad, Surlingham Broad, Strumpshaw Broad and Hardley Flood from December until April.

He now cuts reeds around Haddiscoe and St Olaves for the Great Yarmouth Wildfowling and Conservation Association.

Mr Mason, who learnt the skill off his father from the age of five, said: “It is a lovely craft.”

The family day takes place from 10am until late and will include reed cutting demonstrations and stalls.

Mr Mason said: “It will be great for the village.”

He is organising the event with the pub landlords and they are appealing for musicians to perform on the day for free.

It will raise money for the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices’ nook appeal - raising £10m for a new hospice in Framingham Pigot.

To register an interest call 01508 538211.

Norfolk Day is taking place on July 27.

Let us know your event by emailing details to norfolkday@archant.co.uk, tweeting @norfolk or messaging the Norfolk Day Facebook page.

Norfolk Day online shop

An online shop has been launched selling Norfolk Day marketing material which event organisers can display on the day.

The shop is selling a four-pack of flags, four-pack of A3 posters and 20 balloons at £4, while 5m of bunting

is £7.50.

Celebration packs containing all of the above are available for £15.

Norfolk Day takes place on Friday, July 27 and is intended as a day of fun in which individuals, community groups and businesses are encouraged to get involved by hosting or participating in events.

The initiative was launched by the EDP and Norwich Evening News in

partnership with BBC

Radio Norfolk and has the backing of business and community organisations who are planning events for the day.

Details of events will

be revealed in the

newspaper, online and via social media.

To order Norfolk Day materials, visit the online Norfolk Day shop.

Estimated delivery time is 28 days.

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Latest from the EDP

Show Job Lists

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 7°C

Listen to the latest weather forecast