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New crowning glory for landmark Broads building

PUBLISHED: 15:59 10 June 2019

Two master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look. Picture: Richard Batson

Two master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look. Picture: Richard Batson

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Historic How Hill House is sporting a new "hair do" as its thatched roof ridge gets a revamp.

Historic How Hill house is sporting a new “hair do” as its thatched roof ridge gets a revamp. Picture: Mike PageHistoric How Hill house is sporting a new “hair do” as its thatched roof ridge gets a revamp. Picture: Mike Page

Two master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look.

Work re-ridging How Hill is about a quarter of the way through a three-month, £55,000 project funded through a 50th anniversary appeal in 2016.

It will use 900 bunches of sedge cut from marshes at Woodbastwick and Catfield, held in place with 12,000 hazel "brotches" and 600m of wire netting.

How Hill Trust director Simon Partridge said: "The thatched roof is the crowning glory of our Grade II listed house and we are lucky to have it done by two top craftsmen with strong links to the place."

Two master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look. Picture: Richard BatsonTwo master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look. Picture: Richard Batson

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For one of the thatchers, it was this exact building that gave him the inspiration to make thatching his career.

Leyton Rutherford, 42, of Buxton, near Aylsham, said: "During a primary school visit here, marshman Eric Edwards told us about thatching and showed us how to knock up a bunch of reed. I was an outside person and I wanted to do that.

"Just hearing the children running around and having fun while they learn is a reminder of the time I enjoyed here at this great place."

Two master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look. Picture: Richard BatsonTwo master craftsmen took to the roof to give the Broads environmental study centre near Ludham, a brand new look. Picture: Richard Batson

Main contractor thatcher Mick Aldred and his father have worked at How Hill for decades - including the last re-ridge about 20 years ago.

Mr Aldred, 54, of Bradfield, near North Walsham, said: "We came to help with the harvest, but we also loved roaming the countryside and climbing trees. It is great to come back here to work."

To find out more about How Hill, visit www.howhilltrust.org.uk

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