My mind turned to the thatch to clad the roof. Our AGA repair man (the aga khan) put me into contact with a reed cutter on the Norfolk coast, I went to meet him and his colleague at the old roman site at Branodunum near Brancaster. A deal was struck for 1200 bundles, about half from this site and the rest from near the windmill at Cley next the Sea. I was picking bits of flag (reed head) out of the van for ages afterwards.
Then I also needed some sedge for the ridge, after a bit of research I tracked down the right fellow on the Broads, here is a picture of him.
I took it all home and wondered how on earth I was going to deal with these new straw stacks! This was worrying, even though I knew my father had thatched a house many years before. I went to meet and phoned local(ish) thatchers who were not at all keen to share their skills and empower me. Luckily I did track down the right man in the end. He was very reassuring and told me “don’t worry every bundle of reed has its appropriate position on the roof, all you have to do is work out where”.
Here’s a picture of some of it in the shed.