Hole & Corner Issue 10
Hole & Corner have written a fantastic piece on us in issue no. 10. Thankyou so much H&C. Alan came out on the river for 2 days during the rush harvest, the results are stunning. We are so fortunate. We are in very esteemed company in the magazine - Richard Batterham, Bill Amberg, Adrian Joffe, and Maureen Doherty of Egg.
See the article here.
Photography by Alan Clarke.
Written by Tamsin Blanchard.
Rush Harvest 2016
I realise it is a little late to talk about our rush harvest, however, it is an extremely busy time of year for us so difficult to put pen to paper.
We started just up stream of The Pike and Eel at Needingworth and gradually worked our way upstream past The Ferryboat Inn at Holywell and finished just short of the St. Ives lock. The rush was plentiful so we didn't have to move to another area. It is one of the most beautiful stretches of river. Big, big horizons, blue skies and naughty cattle!
He was our favourite - very cheeky chap.
I took over the rush cutting from Tom Arnold in 1994. He lived a few steps away from the river. It felt like coming home to cut there again- romantic I know, but.....
I had a new punt made this year- very exciting. Officially her name is Bella 4, her nick name- Cliff. Four punts, four cutters. Ivor, Davey, new recruit Jim, me and Molly, of course.
"THE WILD BUNCH' Photo by Alan Clarke, a photographer with us for 2 days for a forthcoming article in Hole & Corner magazine.
Jim turned out to be a real star and took really well to the cutting. It isn't easy. We each have our own techniques and it is extremely hard work. Bed time gets earlier and earlier the further we get into harvest..
A few hiccups with the outboard motors at the beginning but then everything ran smoothly. The rush is beautiful to work with. It dried quickly so has remained pretty green, a quality we love. Also amazingly long! Up to 14' some of it.
It was a great year for us. Wonderful weather for cutting and drying. Our total was 2200 bolts - a fantastic year.
My cathedral to rush..
A fellow river user sent us a link to his diary of the trip they made this summer. Very lovely of him and a great trip. See it here.
It was good to see you out on the Ouse recently,
Simon Judge, Narrow Boat Scholar Gypsy.
To see more photos of the rush harvest, check out our instagram page - rushmatters
Yesterday, the lorry came down from Scotland to collect the 800 bolts that Speyside Cooperage order every year. A rush is split open and a half is placed between the staves and heads of the casks as caulking material acting as a gasket.
Rush Harvest 2016
We are now up to 1500 bolts cut, just 1000 more to go!! We have had pretty good drying weather this summer and the rush is stunning to work with. Really long and beautifully green.
We're putting the price of our Rush up this season to £26.00 + VAT.
We have cut so well so far but cannot get the stuff to dry! Where has the summer gone?!
No cutting today, river risen by 2-3ft, very fast current. Wetsuits have been worn!
Davey's very productive morning, 30 bolts! Massive day in the end, 115 bolts cut in total.
Molly helps us out on the river everyday.
Rush drying on the hedge.
Repairs to rush barn
Repair work has started on our rush barn. Ivor is helping Mark Gascoigne the skilled timber framer. He is also a friend.
A Place for Craft conference
Felicity will be speaking at the V&A as part of A Place for Craft conference during London Craft Week. See all the details here.
Rush Harvest 2014
Another fantastic year of rush harvest is over. 6 weeks of cutting with a total of 2100 bolts now safe in my barn.
I had great intentions of taking photographs of the full harvest team but somehow i did not get round to it. The cutting time is all consuming.
On the river we had my brother, Davey, down from Scotland for 4 weeks. Ivor, my boyfriend and Giles, Ivor's nephew. Adam and Demi held the fort back at the workshop and turning the rush on the drying hedge.
Some beautiful days on the river, fantastic weather punctuated with some serious downpours which meant we had several days not cutting. On those days we sort out the rush on the hedge and when necessary get it under glass a few miles away. I rent 200sq.m of glass house which means we don't lose any rush. The temperatures absolutely soar in there!
Our cutting sites were Oakley Bridges and Turvey on the Gt. Ouse in Bedfordshire. Aldwincle and Oundle In Northants on the Nene then over to Olney, the Ouse again in Buckinghamshire to finish the harvest.
These photos are of us on The Nene at Aldwincle having very neatly cleared the river of rush. We were last there 3 years ago.
Boss, our Lab decided he would get a lift on the trailer while we are loading the dry rush on to the trailer to go to the barn.
nice stovepipe hat... is it a new line or a oneoff?
Currently harvesting on the river
It's that time of year again when we harvest English Bulrush to keep us stocked for the year
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