I live in St Albans, Herts. Having easy access to the M25, A1 and M1 allows me to serve customers in Hertfordshire and Essex, as well as Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

Picture of grandad and dad thatching

My Grandad, Stan, and my Dad, Stephen, thatching together

Thatching – it’s in the blood
My family has a proud tradition of thatching that stretches back for at least six generations – in fact, as far back as we can research. My dad, Stephen Shelley, is still thatching today, and my cousin Paul also works as a master thatcher. You could say it’s in the Shelley genes!

Professional thatcher accreditations
In addition to the many years of thorough training I received on the job from my dad, I also completed a two-year NVQ in thatching at Knuston College, Northampton. As far as I know, it was the only thatching course in Europe. Unfortunately, the course isn’t available any more, which is a shame as it gave me an excellent understanding of thatching techniques.

Professional thatching bodies
I’m a member of the National Society of Master Thatchers – the UK’s largest professional thatching association. I’m also the Treasurer of the East Midlands Master Thatchers Association – which, despite the name, covers an area from the Fenlands in the north east to the North Downs in the south east.

These associations hold regular meetings, which are a great opportunity for me to get together with other thatchers to discuss best practice and share new developments regarding building regulations.

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