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Culford Scholars Welcome Suffolk Cricket Craftsman

Published Wednesday 22nd of February 2017 10:09:49 AM

As part of the Scholars' Programme, Culford pupils recently welcomed Ed Garrard from Suffolk’s only Cricket Bat Company Garrard and Flack, to demonstrate the art and craftsmanship involved in making a cricket bat. Pupils learnt about the type of willow (Salix alba Caerulea) required and how it was cut, rolled and shaped to ensure that it looked, felt and performed perfectly for the batsman. Once they had a grasp of the key elements pupils moved into the workshop and had a go at cutting and shaping the clefts of willow that Ed had brought with him. The techniques and tooling involved are very traditional and challenging. Ed used a draw knife to remove the willow and then shaped it with some beautiful old wooden planes. He very quickly removed material and the bat shape appeared before the pupils’ eyes. Ed gave the pupils a turn and they very quickly appreciated how difficult it was to hold the knife, remove wood and create the correct shape. Pupil, Oscar Endean (F4) said: “It was a very enjoyable hour. All the cricketers in the room have had a much better insight into the craftsmanship and care that goes into creating the bats they use. I think it would have taken us about four days to make a bat of that standard”.
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