Willow cutting for Walter Lloyd

Walter Lloyd is a well-known figure in the South Lakes. A bow-top caravan builder, charcoal burner, fell-pony breeder and honorary chairman of the Coppice Association (NW), he can often be found demonstrating hay or straw rope making at shows around the county and entertaining folk with his tales. A couple of weeks ago I was asking him if there would be any suitable rods in his willow beds for making rake handles (‘stails’).  During the conversation I realised that the cutting had gotten a bit overgrown and Walter could use a hand with this year’s harvest. So this weekend, on a beautiful day that felt like spring was truly here, a dozen folk made up of coppice workers, basket makers, woodworkers and others met at Walter’s place near Newby Bridge to work together.

We concentrated our efforts on the most overgrown section which will mostly end up fueling Walter’s bow top woodburner but also yielded yurt poles, rods for riverbank spiling work, some basket materials, willow setts for planting and my raw stails.

It was a daunting sight when we first arrived but, as always, with plenty of hands good weather and a steady supply of tea the work was done and became a pleasure. Even more, this was a chance to meet up with friends, make new contacts and help out a neighbour.

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About Steve Tomlin

I am a greenwood worker and scythe tutor. I carve spoons, bowls and other products from locally sourced greenwood. During the summer I teach scything around the UK.
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One Response to Willow cutting for Walter Lloyd

  1. Linda Collins says:

    Hi there – I am intrigued to hear about Walter Lloyd. I knew him many years ago when he lived near Bacup in Lancashire on a farm. He volunteered to help at Hemswell Ugandan Asian resettlement camp in 1972 and I was there as well. I often went to stay with him on the farm when he had those huge crazy weekend parties.
    Do you have an email or an address for him so that I could drop him a line please. I would so love to hear how he is these days.
    Yours hopefully
    Linda Collins

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