Thatcher returns after 30 years to repair cottage where he met his wife

J. P. Lewis, Catherine and their son Charlie at the Barkway cottage

J. P. Lewis, Catherine and their son Charlie at the Barkway cottage - Credit: Supplied

A 'master thatcher' has returned to rethatch a cottage with his son after more than 30 years - on a site with special meaning for the family.

J. P. Lewis, who is a leading member of The East Anglia Master Thatchers Association, thatched the cottage in Barkway more than 30 years ago, and is now beginning the process of rethatching it.

Working alongside him will be his son Charlie, who is part way through a thatching apprenticeship. 

The job brings back nostalgic memories for Mr Lewis, as it was while working on this particular roof that he met his future wife, Catherine.

Catherine said: "We are both immensely proud to see Charlie learning the skills needed to properly care for Hertfordshire's thatched buildings and, in particular, the importance of using traditional longstraw."

Longstraw has often been maligned in favour of other materials, which can have long-term consequences for local roofs.

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