|A Sussex Trug|
A true artisan craft is to be found in the Sussex Weald a few miles inland from the coast. I am delighted that T for Trug came up ... as I’ve learnt so much and hope you enjoy the story too, the two websites and News links within one site enhance this post.
A trug is a wooden vessel or boat shaped article and is derived from ‘trog’ an Anglo Saxon word. Originally they were used as measures or scoops for grain, feed or even liquid ... though a quick dash was required to safely deliver the liquid!
They became basket like and are now made in a variety of shapes and sizes, making them ideal for many home and garden jobs ... harvesting garden produce, gathering and displaying flowers, to storing fruit or eggs.
The stories on the two websites (I have linked to) are interesting .. reminding us how times were ... the handle and rim are cleaved from coppiced sweet chestnut, using a cleaving axe or froe, then held in a shaving horse and smoothed with a drawknife before being bent a around a former.
Peter Marden putting in
the centre board first
Then the boards are prepared from cricket-bat willow, again using the drawknife and shaving horse. The coppiced willow too is sourced as off-cuts from a cricket bat maker.
Coppicing again is an old art ... maintaining trees at a juvenile stage, while regularly coppiced trees will never die of old age, giving the woodland a rich variety of habitats, which is beneficial for biodiversity.
The Truggery at Coopers Croft, Herstmonceux has a wonderful history ... the workshop and Croft house have been in existence for over 200 years plying their trug trade ... but there are records of trugs and makers dating back to the 16th century.
Trugs became famous after they were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851 and Queen Victoria ordered a consignment for members of the Royal Family. On completion of the order, the precious cargo of trugs was loaded into a wheelbarrow and walked to Buckingham Palace – a mere 60 miles or so.
|Garden Trug from|
The Truggery shop
Fortunately this wonderful artisan craft has been continued by a few master craftsmen, their stories told through the media ... and their art available for purchase direct, from The Truggery or local Wood Fairs – as there is nothing to replace the traditional Sussex Trug for its strength and durability.
This is a Trug – that is what T is for ..
The Truggery, Herstmonceux, East Sussex
Peter Marden at the Countryside - Sussex Trug site
Part of the ABC - April 2011 - A - Z Challenge - Aspects of the British Countryside
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories