Master Thatchers (North) Ltd.
Master Thatchers (North) Ltd (MTN) was established in 1985 by Peter Brugge as part of the franchise organisation then run by Thatching Advisory Services Ltd. (TAS).
Peter had started in the thatching industry three years previously after graduating from Warwick University with an honours degree. Peter was the first of his family to enter the trade – the surname ‘Brugge’ derives from his Dutch father – strangely enough a country with a fine thatching tradition.
During his time with TAS, Peter travelled to work on contracts in the Unites States and Africa and in conjunction with TAS provided his own workforce which helped thatch the three Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition roofs at Earls Court London in the 1980’s and 1990’s.
MTN in the early years worked predominantly in the North-West of England close to their Altrincham base. As the demand for their services grew they began to travel further a field and the workforce increased in size to also cope with the increased workload.
Working to deadlines and organising jobs often hundreds of miles apart has always been something, which Peter has found challenging and rewarding. Sometimes even the busy schedule can seem to get logistically improbable. On one occasion 6 sites were run at the same time; of these one was in Galway (West Ireland), one was on the island of North Uist (North-West Scotland) and another one in the Pyrenees (Southern France).
Working for builders requires a certain discipline to meet deadlines especially on new build properties and MTN were one of the first to thatch multiple dwellings at Milton Keynes in the late 1980’s and then in the 1990’s at Leicester and Derby.
Master Thatcher for over 25 Years
After over 25 years in the trade Peter still enjoys the hands-on aspect of working on the roof and the satisfaction that this brings. Clearly running multiple jobs does impose limits on his time and obviously he can only be on one roof at a time. Some customers and thatchers mistakenly believe that this means his role has changed to one of being an administrator, nothing could be further from the truth. The office in Altrincham is fully staffed and this leaves Peter the time to indulge his passion of thatching.
MTN has been a member of the National Society of Master Thatchers for around 20 years and over 12 years ago they were runners up in the Best Thatched House Annual Competition run by the Society – in fact this was the only year that we have entered the competition.
Peter firmly believes that one’s thatching reputation is based solely on the most recently completed work and there is always more to learn to achieve a longer lasting and more aesthetically pleasing job.
The thatching industry in the UK is beset with a myriad of views and opinions from all sorts of corners, thatchers, growers and suppliers of materials, builders, listed building officers and organisations such as English Heritage. The UK’s regional styles and variations and traditions are quite profound. The three main materials used are Water Reed, Combed Wheat Reed or Straw and Long Straw make UK thatching very different to that found in other countries. Peter believes that a very large part of his role is to steer a path through these often-contradictory viewpoints so the customer is best placed to make an informed decision about his own particular roof.