From the archives: Celebrating Halloween through brush and broom making
PUBLISHED: 16:45 01 November 2015 | UPDATED: 16:45 01 November 2015
Brush and broom making are the archive theme this week.
From the archives: Brush and broom making
A worker at Lowestofts Winsor and Newton brush factory, Crown Works, Crown Street in 1951. The operation being carried out by the young woman is known as handling. The factory opened in 1946 and was supplying 50 different types of brush to artists worldwide at the time of our photo.
The Briton Brush factory was a familiar name locally until its closure 30 years ago. In our photo from 1954, bristles of various lengths are mixed together to give that taper on the brush head which is essential to a fine quality painting brush.
Cyril Fowler, a well-known brush and cabinet wood turner of Wramplingham was kept busy turning out broom heads but also found time to make a variety of candlesticks, fruit bowls and even fishing reels. Our picture is undated but seems to be from the late 1950s.
Albert Wymer, besom birch broom-maker of Hevingham demonstrates his craft in April 1960.
Workers at Cooks (Norwich) Brushes Ltd at the factory on Mile Cross Lane are binding the tufts of bristle together and dipping them into hot pitch before pushing them into the holes of the stocks. It took a bit of practice to know how many bristles would fit the hole. Second from right is the firms production manager Mr A Pitt. The others are (left to right) Messrs V Bilner, D. Caton, W. Barber and E. Halstead. Our picture dates from June 1961.
Turning a handle for a flower pot brush at Cooks Brushes, Norwich in June 1961. Handles and stocks were made from local birch and sycamore.
Mr Wymer features again in a later picture from our archive, when he held a broom-making demonstration at the Royal Norfolk Show in 1968.
Andy Caxton is seen here working at CWS brush makers in Chapel Lane, Wymondham in 1972. The factory was celebrating its 50th anniversary that year. Mr Caxton had been a brush maker for 43 years and demonstrates to our photographer his skill at making chimney sweeps brushes, a job that had to be done by hand.
The final stage of making a sweeping brush at Wymondhams Briton Chadwick brush factory in 1972.
Woodland craftsman Andrew Basham works to complete the next batch of traditional besoms or birch brooms before the Halloween rush in October 1995. The besoms were hand made using birch from Buxton Heath, lime bark binding and chestnut or hanzel handles. Mr Basham expected to sell over 300 in a season.
At this time of year, the humble broom, or besom, is an indispensable accessory to Halloween witches everywhere and we’ve delved into the EDP library to bring you the best photos
• If you recognise anyone in the pictures or would like to tell us more about them you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
• To get a copy of one of our old photographs, visit www.edp24.co.uk/buyaphoto or telephone Diane Townsend Mon-Fri on 01603 772449. The photos will be available on the website from Monday afternoon.
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