Reed Cutting

An old country craft of Norfolk

On Cley banks where
the reeds grow
waiting for the rising tide,
a lone Heron stealths silently
while gulls cry, and dive into the cold sea air.

(Siri & Selma)

Reed cutting and thatching is a traditional rural craft serving the needs of the community. It was, and partly still is, done by the local fishermen who weren’t allowed by their girlfriend and wives to go out to sea because of the rough and unpredictable weather conditions in winter. Harvesting the reeds and working with it is a craft that has been established for many generations in Norfolk. It’s not only a sustainable industry but also one of the very few rural crafts that has not had to adapt itself to drastic changes like most of the other crafts. The harvesting of the reeds is mostly done with a little machine now but all the rest is still done by hand. We Bookfayries 👭 love to watch the last reed cutter in our village who cuts the reeds by hand with a kind of sickle.
Today there are not that many houses that are thatched because of the high insurance rates you pay for a thatched building although all the reed for thatching is fireproof impregnated.

Ried zu ernten und Dächer mit Ried zu decken ist ein fast ausgestorbenes ländliches Handwerk. Das Ried wurde früher vor Ort zum Dachdecken genutzt. Was heute wegen der hohen Versicherungsprämien nicht mehr so verbreitet ist, obwohl das Ried auf den Dächern gegen Feuer chemisch präpariert ist. Riedschneiden war, und teilweise ist noch heute, die Arbeit der Fischer. Ihre Freundinnen und Frauen ließen sie nicht winters hinaus auf See fahren wegen des rauen und unvorhersehbaren Wetters. Das Ernten des Rieds hat in Norfolk eine lange Tradition in den Fischerfamilien. Es ist eine der wenigen Handwerke, die sich in letzter Zeit nicht grundlegend verändert haben wie die meisten anderen Handwerke. Zugegeben, das Ried wird heute oft mit kleinen Maschinen geschnitten, aber der Rest ist klassische Handarbeit. Wir Buchfeen 👭 lieben es, dem letzten Riedschneider unseres Dorfes zuzuschauen, der das Ried noch mit einer Art Sichel per Hand erntet.

Reed cutting at Cley Mill. With this basic machine, the reed ends are cut at the same length and bundled.

Do you know that reed is one of the few crops that grows naturally without the help of artificial poisons called fertilizers and pesticides? The best and only management of a reed bed is regularly cutting it once a year during the wintertime. This makes not only grow it stronger but it prevents as well that shrubs and little trees invade this area. So reed cutting maintains the open landscape that Norfolk is famous for and we very much love. The wide horizons give a feeling of freedom. And, as we wrote in our last post, the reed beds are an important part of our wetland and therefore an important wildlife habitat.
Reed is the longest grass growing naturally in the UK. Norfolk Reed is especially long and waterresistent and theefore in high demand for thatching.

Wir lernten in der Feenschule, dass Ried eine der wenigen Nutzpflanzen ist, die ohne künstliche Gilfte wie Dünger und sogenannten Planzenschutz bestens gedeihen. Man muss es nur einmal jährlich im Winter schneiden. Das stärkt das Wachstum und verhindert, dass Büsche und Bäumchen in die Marschen einwandern. So hält das Riedschneiden die Landschaft offen, was wir so lieben, und was das Markenzeichen von Norfolk ist. Die weiten Horizonte geben ein Gefühl der Freiheit. Und, wie wir in unserer letzten Post schrieben, die Riedgebiete sind ein wichtiger Teil unserer Feuchtgebiete und so ein wichtiger Lebensraum für wildlebende Tiere.
Ried ist das längste heimische Gras der britischen Insel. Das Norfolk Reed ist besonders lang und wasserabweisend und ist deswegen für Dachdeckung sehr gefragt.

These are pictures (klick to enlarge) from the reed bed at Cley Mill as well. You see this ancient cutting machine in action. Where the marshland is drier (only at very few places) the bundles of reed are transported away with a tractor, but usually, it’s done by manpower. Very typical are the big flogs of birds (mostly geese) flying above the reedbeds.

The reeds grow on marshland that is of no economical value besides the reeds. The reed beds are usually owned by the fishing families whose members do the reed cutting and go around in England and even to the Netherlands for thatching. We don’t know why in Germany most of the reed for thatching is imported from China. Maybe that is because Chinese reed has quiet a lower price, but we can hardly call this ‘sustainable’.
When we brought our friends in the reed beds their lunch, you wouldn’t believe how hot it is in between the reeds. Although winter we were sweating there.

Das Ried wächst in den Marschen, die sonst ökonomisch wertlos sind. Die Ried- oder Schilfbetten, wie man sie auch in Deutsch nennt, sind normaler Weise im Besitz der Fischerfamilien. Die jüngeren Männer dieser Familien schneiden das Ried und fahren in England herum, um Dächer damit zu decken. Manche fahren bis in die Niederlande. In Deutschland dagegen kommt das meiste Ried aus China, wohl da dieses Ried deutlich billiger als unser englisches Ried ist, aber dieser Import ist schwerlich ‘nachhaltig’ zu nennen.
Als wir unseren Freunde in den Riedbetten ihre Butterbrote brachten, waren wir verblüfft, wie geradezu heiß es zwischen dem Ried ist. Obwohl wir winterliche Temperaturen hatten, schwitzten wir dort.

Wishing you a wonderful time
Alles Gute

The Fab Four of Cley
💃🚶‍♂️👭

 

.

© Text and illustrations, Hanne Siebers and Klausbernd Vollmar, Cley next the Sea, 2019

153 thoughts

  1. Nice pictures, as always!
    Here in the Netherlands, more specifically in Friesland, one feels the threat of the cheap Chinese reed. It is feared that the reed companies will soon no longer be able to survive due to the competition from China.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Matroos, ahoy
      yes, this is a big problem. The Chinese reed turns a sustainable business into an unsustainable one and destroys an old local craft.
      Thanks for commenting.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Great read as always, dear friends. B&W is a good choice for this ancient craft, Hanne. 🙂 Very good to see that the locals are still surviving with their traditional craft. The cheaper Chinese reed is obviously a seller in Europe. Brexit is coming – I keep my fingers crossed that the reed cutters will be able to keep up the good work. Surely rural craftsmanship like this must be funded by the EU?
    God helg!
    Klem,
    Per Magnus xx

    Liked by 4 people

    • Our dear friend Per Magnus,
      well, with Brexit coming that could be the end of these old local crafts in the UK. Local crafts like thatching were subsidised by the EU fund for traditional local crafts.
      God helg to you as well! 🙂 🙂
      KLEM xxx
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Like

    • Dear Jo,
      greetings back from the flatlands 🙂 🙂
      Indeed, B&W is perfect for showing pictures of this traditional craft. It radiates the appropriate mood.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend and thanks for commenting
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi 4FF! Weil ich auch so ein Marsch-Vogel bin, ich liebe dass Moor und die Marsch – das liegt wohl am Abtauchen zwischen Land und Wasser in meiner Kindheit am Steinhuder Meer. Unser Boot lag stundenlang im Ried – wir haben dort geschlafen. Umgeben von Enten, Haubentauchern und meinem Gummischwan, der hinten am Boot angebunden war und einen/eine Liebhaberin hatte. Diesen Schwan, der uns immer folgte, werde ich nie vergessen. Mein Gummischwan ist leider bei einem samstäglichen Badetag am heissen Kessel für das Badewasser, beim Spiel in der Wanne mit ihm, zerplatzt. Diese furchtbare Szene habe ich noch heute in meinem inneren Auge. Ich denke, ich muss mich mal wieder ins Ried legen. Euch ein feines Wochenende, danke für die Erinnerung und das besonders schöne Bild von dem Mann im Ried. Herzlichst Ruth

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hallo, liebe Ruth,
      oh dear, was für eine Schande 😦 😦 Der Tod deines Lieblingsschwan ist ja Stoff für ein Drama.
      Hier leben auch viele Schwäne im und am Ried und natürlich auch andere Vögel wie die Reed Buntings. Huch, wir mussten das eben in unseren klugen Vogelbüchern nachgucken, das ist die Riedammer zu Deutsch.
      Irgendwie strahlen die Riedbetten etwas Romantisches, Beruhigendes aus und gleichzeitig sind sie soooo geheimnisvoll.
      Mit lieben Grüßen vom frühlingshaft warmen und sonnigen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hej, dear Annalena,
      B&W works with these pictures VERY well. We all 4 got this idea at the same time and Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma shouted suddenly totally excited “black and white, of course!”
      Looking forward to your call
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Ups, my plane back to Stockholm is delayed be 2 hrs so I’ll have plenty of time to read and write. It’s going to take all day to get home now so I’ll get in touch tomorrow.
      Siri and Selma, I forgot to tell you how much I enjoyed your opening poem. You are very gifted. I love it! 🙂
      Kram, Annalena xx

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, dearest Annalena,
      here Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma are writing. Thank you so much for liking our poem 🙂 🙂
      We send you lots and lots of finest inspiring Fairy dust 💫✨⚡️🌟💫
      May your journey go on soon
      Lots of love ❤️❤️
      Siri and Selma 👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Annalena,
      oh dear, we know that travelling is mostly horrible nowadays – therefore we stay most of the time at home. Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma praise us for it because that’s very ecological, as they say. They are thinking that the time of travelling for fun is gone. Well, travelling isn’t fun any longer, at least not that much as it was before. A friend of ours said lately: “Going with Ryanair is like a punishment”.
      Anyway, we keep our fingers crossed that you are soon at home in lovely Stockholm again.
      With lots of love xxx ❤ ❤ ❤
      Klem
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Natuurfreak,
      we hope that this traditional craft won’t die out. We keep our fingers crossed. But Brexit and imports from China are a big danger.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Like

  4. The magical picture of a hard working fisherman, with Cley-Next-The-Sea Windmill in the background, is mesmerising.
    Indeed, with China and Brexit, one wonders if this trade will be sustainable… Then, what will happen, economically and environmentally, if it is not?
    Our praises are that this trade will continue for generations.
    Thank you Fab Four of Cley, again for some wonderful images and revelations about this part of Norfolk that we love. 🙏🏻🤗

    Liked by 4 people

    • Dear Frederic,
      indeed, we keep our fingers crossed that this traditional trade will not die out. But you are right Brexit is a big danger and cheap imports from China don’t help neither. Siri 🙂 and 🙂 Selma try to practise their fairy magic that reed cutting and thatching will survive.
      With love from Cley, wishing you a GREAT weekend. Have fun with your drone and thanks for commenting
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Fraggle,
      from late autumn to early April big flogs of geese flying above the reed beds (and our house) especially in the late afternoons. We love it! 🙂 🙂
      Thanks and cheers
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Simply wonderful. Continuing tradition, in a landscape that has hardly changed in centuries. The essence of countryside and coastal community life, in wondeful photos, and intelligent prose.
    Love from Beetley, Pete and Ollie. X

    Liked by 4 people

    • Good afternoon, dear Pete,
      indeed, this is real Norfolk for us as well, at least coastal Norfolk how we love it.
      Thank you very much for your kind words 🙂 🙂
      With lots of love from the sunny coast
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, it’s different if you are there. You feel the wind, hear all these birds, and you smell this typical wetland’s scent. You can have this at the North Norfolk coast during the winter.
      Thank you for liking our post 🙂 🙂
      All the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃👭🚶‍♂️

      Like

  6. Fab Four of Cley __
    My only experience with thatching was when I was a kid and went to an area called The Plantation. It was being recreated as it had been back in the 17 – 18th Century, which meant the roofs had to be thatched. It was still under construction and the guide told us that the roofs were being done by Irishmen brought over here, since the US had NO thatchers. I tried my hand at it for my 16th birthday by tying and adding straw to the roof of our patio and we had a Hawaiian luau atmosphere.
    Thank you for taking us on a tour of the Mill which shows us the craft at the very start.
    Have a wonderful weekend, my friends.
    GP Cox

    Liked by 3 people

    • Our dear friend,
      reed cutting is quite hard work. It’s hot in the reed bed and carrying the reed bundles to the cutting machine and the truck is heavy work. Thatching needs a lot of good eyesight and experience. Sometimes they do it in intricate patterns especially on modern houses. They use the reeds for fencing here as well.
      Luau atmosphere … that sounds great 🙂 🙂
      We wish you a wonderful weekend as well. It’s very warm and sunny here – quite unusual.
      With love from the sunny sea
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very interesting and the photos are great. I would expect though that wetlands such as these reed beds, in addition to the many environmental benefits, do have underappreciated ‘economic value’ including that they retain and filter the water that passes through and retard any potential flooding?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, dear Dan,
      thanks a lot for liking Dina’s photography 🙂 🙂
      The first picture is taken just a few steps from where we live.
      Wishing you a great weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Hello Cley Folk – Thank you, a very nice poem by S&S, and enjoyed this glimpse of an almost-bygone craft. The photos are excellent, I like the first shot, and the one of the windmill obscured by reeds, in particular. And learning of the successful “partnership” between the fishing families and the wetlands.
    I don’t expect my region to embrace thatched roofs any time soon, but in New York, I’m hoping an entrepreneur will discover another economically viable use for the reeds (phragmites australis) and begin harvesting and controlling them. They’re invasive in the freshwater marshes near my hometown, and along with purple loosestrife, have been supplanting the cattails (I think these are called bulrushes in England). I did read they’ve been used to make packaging paper, which sounds promising. All best wishes, RPT.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good evening, dear Robert,
      you mentioned the problematic side of the reeds, they are horribly invasive. We are struggling with them at least twice a year, cutting them very low down and burn them because they have a tendency to block our little harbour.
      Here reed is used for fencing as well as it lasts forever and always looks fine. But nobody produces paper here yet.
      As children, we cut off the ends and played smoking cigars.
      Thanks and have a relaxing weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

  9. Having no experience with reed except knowing what a thatched roof looks like, your outstanding post was a real eye-opener for me. I believe the most important thing is to realize how the most humble plant of the marshes and wetlands can be of such great value, especially if it prospers without the questionable aid from fertilizers and pesticides. The photography in monochrome is awesome. Greetings and best wishes from frigid Canada!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Peter,
      warm greetings from the sunny sea. We have a kind of spring for one week now, unusually warm and sunny although with frost every night. Glorious weather.
      Thanks a lot for liking our post. Isn’t it great that this traditional rural craft still exists? And more or less unchanged!
      We wish you and your family all the best, enjoy the weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

    • WOW, dear Heide, thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 🙂 they made our evening.
      We are quite proud that this tradition is still alive in our village.
      With lots of love from the sunny sea
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

  10. Vielen dank for the most interesting post with the perfect B&W photos to complement it! I really enjoyed this. It makes me think of when I was growing up and my grandparents lived on a farm. Not gigantic, air-conditioned tractors with cabs then, just sitting out in the weather. There’s always so much to do on a farm and some of the things are still done the same way today. You still have to go out and feed the animals, collect eggs, etc. That’s the sort of feeling your post brought to mind. It made me happy.

    janet

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Janet,
      we can understand the connection with farming. Farming still has a traditional side to it that hasn’t changed for many generations like reed cutting. The reed cutters are the fishermen in summer. Fishing has very much changed in recent years and it doesn’t feed you.
      Thanks a lot for your commentary 🙂 🙂
      Happy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

  11. When I visited my parents recently the nearly thatched roof cottage had the roof burnt off completely and just stood like an empty shell, my parents said it had been left for quite a while and perhaps there was a problem getting the insurance to fix it. There are a number of thatched properties nearby with the most wonderful artistic flourishes, I hope they do replace it with reed rather than slate or tile.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Charlotte,
      this a big problem why fewer houses are thatched because of the insurance. It is said, that it’s very unlikely that this fireproof reed will burn – but that doesn’t seem to be true.
      We saw quite some houses that were thatched with quite intricate patterns. It’s very attractive and super insulation.
      Thanks and cheers, have a fine weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

  12. Liebe Fab Four,
    danke für die Vorstellung dieses alten Handwerks und der Natur. Reet-Dächer an der Nordsee vermitteln wohlige Eindrücke, und Ihr erzählt von der Arbeit dazu. Nun bin ich etwas neugierig, ob es das gleiche Reed_Ried _ Reet ist, das auf das Dach gelegt wird, wie das Rohr der Rohrflöte und verschiedenen Instrumenten. Hier drei gelesene read reeds aus den Liedern von Robert Burns, die weniger die Dächer als die Flöten ansprechen.
    Herzliche Grüße
    Bernd

    “Behold, My Love, How Green The Groves”:

    Let minstrels sweep the skilfu’ string,
    In lordly lighted ha’:
    The Shepherd stops his simple reed,
    Blythe in the birken shaw. …

    “Poor Mailie’s Elegy”:

    O, a’ ye bards on bonie Doon!
    An’ wha on Ayr your chanters tune!
    Come, join the melancholious croon
    O’ Robin’s reed!
    His heart will never get aboon-
    His Mailie’s dead!

    “Yon Wild Mossy Mountains”:
    Yon wild mossy mountains sae lofty and wide,
    That nurse in their bosom the youth o’ the Clyde,
    Where the grouse lead their coveys thro’ the heather to feed,
    And the shepherd tends his flock as he pipes on his reed.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Bernd,
      zunächst einmal herzlichen Dank für die drei Abschnitte aus den Burns Gedichten.
      Früher wurde mit Reed geflötet und geschrieben, mit mehr oder weniger dem gleichen Ried, mit dem die Dächer gedeckt werden. Es wird auch in Deutschland Schilfgras genannt. Es hat ja in Deutschland viele Namen. Ich war Reet gewohnt, aber es gibt auch Ried, Rohr, Binsen und Schilfgras und einige andere lokale Abwandlungen, aber es ist immer das gleiche hohe Gras, das jedoch viele Unterarten hat, die sich in Dicke des Stamms und Länge unterscheiden. Es gibt etwa 100 Gattungen von Riedgräsern mit 5500 unteschiedlichen Arten. Da gehört dann die Flöte und das Ried fürs Dachdecken zu unterschiedlichen Arten – zu welchen? Oh dear, da sind wir überfragt, selbst Masterchen weiß keinen Rat. SORRY!
      Mit lieben Grüßen vom frühlingshaften, sonnigen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

    • Danke, mögen alle Gattungen und Arten geschützt werden, für die Dächer, Flöten, alle Anwendungen und das Selbst der Natur.
      Das erfolgreiche Volksbegehren in Bayern für den Artenschutz haben 18,4 Prozent der Stimmberechtigten unterschrieben.
      “Schau mer mal”. Herzliche Grüße

      Liked by 2 people

    • Lieber Bernd,
      das ist doch ein großer Erfolg, dass so viele Stimmberechtigte unterschrieben. Gratulation! Wir lasen vor einiger Zeit von der norwegischen Autoron Maja Lunde “Die Geschichte der Bienen”. Dort wird eine Welt ohne Bienen beschrieben, in der Frauen in China in die Bäume klettern müssen, um per Hand zu bestäuben.
      Herzliche Grüße vom sonnigen Meer
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you very much, dear Eddy 🙂 🙂
      we hope so as well. A Cley thatcher told us he wouldn’t touch the Chinese stuff, never ever!
      Thanks for liking Dina’s photography.
      Happy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Sally,
      thank you very much for liking Dina’s pictures 🙂 🙂 In B&W they transport the adequate mood we thought.
      Thank you and wishing you an easy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Katerine,
      thank you very much for your kind comment 🙂 🙂
      Norfolk is very special, even in England. For a long time, it was seen as “out in the sticks”. Now it’s ‘in’ living here, especially at the coast. The North Norfolk coast is quite a big conservation area.
      Wishing you a wonderful weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much, dear Anne,
      before we moved here we didn’t know anything about reeds. Now we find this traditional craft of reed cutting and thatching very interesting.
      Wishing you a happy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Als ich einmal an der Ostsee war, konnte ich die Männer sehr gut bei ihrem Handwerk beobachten. Ein informativer Beitrag mit tollen sw Bildern!
    Ein Problem haben die reedgedeckten Häuser aber… Sie brennen gut. Einem Bekannten ist das bereits zwei Mal passiert. Der Arme, alles verloren samt Papieren…
    Tolles Weekend 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh dear, hier wird oft gesagt, dass das Reed so prepariert wird, dass es nicht brennt. Das scheint wohl mehr Wunsch als Realität zu sein. Die Versicherungen sehen das ähnlich, denn es kostet ein Vermögen, sein reedgedecktes Haus zu versichern. Der positve Aspekt von Reeddächern ist wohl deren gute Wärmeisolierung. – Übrigens hier an der Küste gibt es nur noch wenige reedgedeckte Häuser, die wir wunderschön anzusehen finden.
      Danke, dass dir Dinas Bilder gut gefallen 🙂 🙂
      Auch dir ein tolles Wochenende
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

  14. It warms my heart to read your post this morning. Like Eddy Winko, I can only hope that people who know how to thatch houses will insist on local material and secure this kind of work for generations to come.
    Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good morning, dear Anna,
      as we wrote above, the local fishermen doing the reed cutting and thatching are adamant not to touch Chinese reeds. For them, the biggest fear is the Brexit because traditional local crafts are subsidised by the EU. On the other hand, they are lucky because of more and more posh houses are thatched again.
      Wishing you a great weekend as well
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • You are absolutely right, Norfolk has lots of traditions. Fishing, smuggling and reed cutting are the oldest. Fishing and smuggling have gone down but reed cutting is still doing well.
      Norfolk, and especially North Norfolk, is very beautiful. Coming here feels like time travel. It’s slow and still quite rural; it’s worth visiting.
      Thank you very much for your commentary 🙂 🙂
      Have an easy weekend
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Pingback: Reed Cutting — The World according to Dina – Revolver Boots

  16. I really appreciate your loving effort and skills to connect with your environment, Fab Four. Through your text and photos, you not only show a way of connecting with nature, but also that the beauty around us is very fragile and need our attention. In so many ways. Like this wonderful rural craftsmanship.
    It’s a fine tribute to your locals with gorgeous photos and a good reminder to us all to protect the beauty and nature around us. Otherwise, this beauty will someday cease to exist, not giving a chance for our future generations to enjoy it the same way we can today.
    Enjoy your Sunday!
    Sarah x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good afternoon, dear Sarah,
      you are absolutely right! You wrote it what it is all about. Thank you very much! 🙂 🙂
      We wish you a great week to come
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh Fab Four, I love this familiar spot in front of the Cley mill! ❤ I suppose one of the challenges that traditional craftsmen are currently facing as they attempt not only to keep alive age-old skills, is to make a decent living from them as well. What a shame about the cheap imports! What about the future? Not only are they facing problems with the Brexit, but are there enough enthusiastic amateurs out there queuing up to learn ancient rural crafts?
    Klem
    Hjerter ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good evening, dear Hjerter,
      only reed cutting wouldn’t feed a family and only fishing neither. You have to combine both. Not that long ago people could live on fishing and reed cutting or bait digging. But these times are gone. Younger people started using reeds for fencing and some even make reed-art – but not in our village. We didn’t notice enthusiastic amateurs queuing up for reed cutting, unfortunately not. Maybe because you need to own a reed bed.
      With lots of love and thank you for commenting
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭
      XXXX

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I love those old English thatched houses and cottages. They have such character. I think you cannot get a mortgage for such a property if you want to buy it. I can imagine it is a skill and profession dying out unfortunately! Great post about it, thank you, all four!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good morning, dear Ute,
      we love these thatched houses and cottages as well. They radiate a cosy and romantic atmosphere. We were told that a thatched roof insulates much better than any other roof.
      Thanks a lot for your commentary 🙂 🙂
      Wishing you a happy week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 2 people

  19. I hope this ancient craft can keep going despite cheaper imports and the problems with Brexit. I walked fairly recently at Redgrave and Lopham Fen where many of the paths are between reedbeds. It was so warm there, too! I was pleased to see that you found it hot in the reeds as well. I hope you are all well and have had a happy weekend.
    Clare

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Jacqui,
      actually, not that long ago. Men could feed a family of reed cutting and fishing or reed cutting and bait digging until the sixties. And you are right, in the 19th c. reed cutting was even more important. Fortunately, now it’s getting fashionable having a thatched house or at least a fence made of reed panels. Well, who wants to live in a bungalow looking like in an American suburb?
      Thanks for commenting 🙂 🙂
      Wishing you a great week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, dear Debbie,
      thank you very much for commenting 🙂 🙂 Yes, everything is fine here at ours. Dina will come back today from Norway today where she stayed a week hoping for lots of snow – but in vain.
      We hope that the reed cutting will go on for many more generations.
      We wish you a wonderful easy week.
      Love
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

  20. It’s interesting that you should have posted this just after your wetland post, since this reed is a terrible scourge of wetlands: well, of our wetlands, anyway. I read that the reeds were introduced into the United States in the late 1700s to early 1800s, probably from contaminated ballast water from ships. Many bayous and sloughs here are lined with them, and they certainly are lovely, despite their tendency to nudge native plants out of the way.

    I had no idea they’ve been used for thatch. That the use continues today is wonderful; I hope the tradition isn’t lost. The black and white photos are the perfect way to convey the hard-edged reality of the work. The bundles are particularly evocative. When I was a child, corn still was left in the fields in shocks, and seeing sheaves of wheat wasn’t uncommon. Except for certain communities, like the Amish, those traditions are gone.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Well, the reed is seen here by the Wildlife Trust and other conservation groups as a natural habitat in wetlands. It’s very important for certain birds like the reed buntings and for cleaning the water, giving shelter for water voles and other animals. To preserve the reeds has high priority here. But, of course, it has to be controlled not to grow into the waterways.
      Our dear Master remembers the sheaves of wheat on the fields when he was young. That was in Germany and Southern Sweden. We suppose that’s gone there as well.
      Wishing you a happy week and thanks for your comment
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you very much for commenting. Fortunately, we are getting always that much response. That the reason why we are blogging, we see it as a real communication with our visitors.
      But you are surely right, there is a longing for this kind of simple life. Of course, we tend to romanticise life when rural crafts were the normal way of work in the coastal villages around here. But life wasn’t easy then – at least seen from our standpoint today.
      Thank you very much for your comment.
      All the best
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Like

  21. Mittwoch und Donnerstag, Kostümbesprechung mit Muttis von 4 bis 6 jährigen, sie sollen als Blume tanzen, jede soll anders aussehen. Die Muttis sollen der lieben Schneiderin, die für Appelundei näht, helfen….die Kunst des Selbernähens soll nicht verloren gehen, nicht alles in China bestellen, über England (Zoll…bald…???)
    …grausam…
    Für die älteren Tänzerinnen werde ich dann Nähunterricht erteilen, da lassen wir die Muttis weg….
    Wer tanzen will, muss auch nähen, fertig!!!
    Um mich emotional aufzuräumen und klar zu bleiben lese ich: “Der bewusste Plan der Schöpfung” , z. B gerade Seite 153: Betrachten wir den Wachstumsprozess von Pflanzen oder Getreide genauer. Wenn etwas wächst und gedeiht, durchläuft es immer drei grundsätzliche Phasen……Der Herbst gilt als Zeit des Nährens, Speicherns und Energieaufbaus…..muss das Rohmaterial diese drei Phasen ducrhlaufen…u.s.w…..
    Ok, Gehirn- keine Festplatte, lebendig, neu zu gestalten, das ist doch mal ein Wort!!!
    Außerdem plane ich noch ein Musical, Geld ist eingetroffen, Frau Kubala, die heißt wirklich so, unglaublich…
    Bühnen müssen mit schwer entflammbarem Material ausgestattet werden, sonst muss man alles wieder abbauen. Das Flammenspray ist extrem giftig. Man kann zum Glück so viel mit Licht machen.
    Ich grüße euch herzlich
    Pia

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Pia
      und was für ein schöner Morgen, Sonnenschein und frühlingshafte Wärme 🙂 🙂 🙂 Wir werden heute Beete von der Umschlingung des Unkrauts befreien. Dina wird ihre Vogelinsel neu gestalten. Die Wäsche flattert schon auf der Leine und die Fasane picken Körner, als ob’s die letzten wären.
      Danke für den Bericht aus deinem Leben. Wir hätten Tanzen nie mit Nähen verbunden. Wieder etwas Neues gelernt.
      Wir machten uns Gedanken, ob nicht die Imprägnierung der Rieds gegen Brennbarkeit auch so giftig ist wie das Flammenspray für die Bühne. Selmalein 🙂 wird das nachher googeln, aber jetzt mümelt sie noch mit Sirilein 🙂 ein Honigbrötchen.
      Wir wünschen dir einen wunderbaren Tag und ein entspanntes Wochenende
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Ich wünsche euch eine gute Zeit mit all euren Beschäftigungen…
      Derweil habe ich mir nochmal das Märchen von den drei kleinen Schweinchen vorgenommen, Joseph Jacobs, die Krönung?
      Außerdem “Goldmarie” , aha, ein Zweizähner (?) und eine Rosensorte.
      Einmal sang ich: After Winter Spring Time will come, auf einer Tanz CD aus der Reihe “tanzen lernen leicht gemacht”…
      Ein Witz, es ist nicht leicht und macht auch keinen Spaß, es ist anstrengend und der Geist soll ja den Körper beherrschen, sonst Knoten in den Beinen…dazu noch schlecht bezahlt….irgendwann ist Sense?!
      Draußen lacht die Sonne, wundervoll!
      .

      Liked by 1 person

    • Vergaß zu schreiben: Wie wundervoll muss es sich anfühlen in einem Ried gedeckten Haus!!
      Ja und völlig crazy bei zu stürmischem Wetter hinauszufahren….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Pia,
      wir haben auch seit Tagen wunderschönes Wetter. Da sind wir emsig im Garten zugange.
      Dir wünscen wir einen wundervollen Tag
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Liebe Pia,
      Dina und ich machten, als wir uns kennenlernten, Urlaub auf Amrum. Dort wohnten wir in einem riedgedeckten Haus, das sogleich Gemütlichkeit ausstrahlte.
      Mit ganz lieben Grüßen aus Cley und viel Spaß beim Tanzen und mit deinem Musical
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Leute, Leute, ihr müsst mal tagesschau.de lesen und gleichzeitig “Mothers of Souls” Estas Tonne hören, Full Album auf youtube…das haut voll rein!!
      Also, niemnad muss natürlich, man könnte…
      Ich tänzele jetzt mal die Kellertreppe runter zur Waschmaschine…
      Now your heart is open like a flower, lalala….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Pia,
      und schon wieder solch ein feiner Bilderbuchmorgen 🙂 🙂
      Wir sehen tgl. u.a. die deutsche Tagesschau und ‘heute’ (ZDF) auf unserem Computer, da die englischen Nachrichten äußerst gewöhnungsbedürftig sind. Da wird mehr über Crime als über Politik berichtet.
      Dann tänzele ‘mal fein durch den Tag.
      Mit lieben Grüßen
      The Fab Fur of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Like

    • Good afternoon, dear Julie,
      thank you VERY much 🙂 🙂
      We find it lovely too that this traditional craft still exists and even in our village.
      Wishing you a happy week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Pingback: About Photography | The World according to Dina

    • Good morning, dear Pit,
      we do as well. It immediately radiates a cosy atmosphere.
      With lots of love to you and Mary
      Wir wünschen euch eine wundervolle Woche
      The Fab Four of Cley
      💃🚶‍♂️👭

      Liked by 1 person

    • I totally agree.
      Talking of a cozy atmosphere: as it’s quite cold here, we have a fire going in the fireplace in the living-room, and that’s ever so COZY! Way better than the air conditioning here in the office. Maybe I should get my laptop and sit on the living-room sofa for further computer work.
      Have a wonderful time in the little village by the big sea,
      Pit

      Liked by 1 person

    • Lieber Pit
      I always sit cozily on the sofa when I am writing – it’s great. Brecht once said that you have to sit comfortably to write nicely.
      Have a cozy day – here it’s sunset
      Klausbernd 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Klausbernd,
      For writing I prefer a chair and a table. The (cozy) sofa – or armchair – is for reading.
      Good night to you while it’s stilll early afternoon here,
      Pit

      Liked by 1 person

  23. I have always found old trades and crafts interesting. Reed cutting belongs to these. So much history and knowledge behind these old crafts. And then, of course, they are excellent subjects for a photography, as these images or this photo essay so eloquently shows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, dear Otto,
      we are very happy that these old craft still exist. Reed cutters and millers are still active here and they are able to survive. Dina loves to visit them for taking pictures and we love to write about them.
      Wishing you an easy day
      The Fab Four of Cley
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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