Last year as part of a mini documentary project we were working on at work for Duncan Fearnley, me and my video guy at work James drove 200 miles (each way) to visit a company called Anglian Willow in Chelmsford.
Geoff, the man mountain in the blue shirt, is the current owner of Anglian Willow after inheriting the business off his father – as I understand it, the company has been a family business for 5 generation. Geoff makes a living harvesting the wood from willow trees belonging local land owners. He then drives them on the back of his truck to his little workshop where he cuts the rounds of wood into triangular segments.
These segments are then sawed into regular shapes and carefully graded depending on the quality of the wood. The straitness of the grain, the amount of grains, the colour of the wood, lack of knots are all being factors in this grading process. The saw cut regular shapes of wood are then dipped in wax at each end and stored in large drying cabinets to dry before being sold to UK based manufacturers of cricket bats.
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