The client on one of the jobs where we are working at the moment was chatting to me and said how good it made people feel when they saw Thatcher’s working; if this is the case it got me thinking why this would be so?
Maybe it’s something that is timeless about thatching and although modern technology and changing work practices have made a lot of people’s jobs more insecure I think people look at Thatchers and see a continuity which harks back to days when their jobs were also more secure and long term. I suppose in a way, it is a feeling of nostalgia.
Another reason may be the hands on nature of thatching allows people can see how a Thatcher is progressing in his work from day to day. There is nothing that is hidden and some people will look at this and feel comfortable with this straightforward almost uncomplicated way of work. As I have always said to my workforce we only get paid when the materials on the ground go on the roof and we can say whatever we like but this simple and inescapable truth always remains.
Also having someone remove your roof and put a new one on again which may take weeks to complete involves a lot of trust on the part of the householder and there has to be a rapport between the Thatcher and the householder. Another factor may be that most thatch roofs are located in rural locations and often very picturesque ones at that.
Here is a picture of a roof we are re-thatching in Scotland. The new water Reed is a similar colour to the straw in the neighbouring fields. Many people still associate thatching with a job that is done only in the summer or in good weather when the straw is harvested at least and this mistaken logic may also contribute to this ‘feel good factor’.