Reed Harvest in Norfolk

The Beginning of the End of Winter
is reed cutting time in our village. When anxious women keep their fisherman darlings away from the hungry sea you will find them out reed cutting. It’s a rural craft providing an income for the few fishermen who are left. The reed is used for fancy fencing and thatching. Some reed cutters travel as far as the Netherlands to thatch roofs – all at the beginning of the end of winter.

Zu Beginn des Winterendes wird in unserem Dorf Ried (oder Reet) geerntet. Dies ist die Zeit, wenn ängstliche Frauen ihre Fischer vom hungrigen Meer fernhalten und sie in die Marschen schicken, das Ried zu schneiden. Ried zu schneiden und verarbeiten bringt den wenig übergebliebenen Fischern ein willkommenes Einkommen. Das Ried wird für Zäune und für Dachbedeckungen benutzt. Einige Gruppen von Riedschneidern fahren bis in die Niederlande, um dort Häuser einzudecken.

Reedharvest

This is a partly harvested reed-field at Cley Mill, iconographic for North Norfolk. The ripened reed makes the landscape look “like an old yellowed photograph”, as Selma puts it. When we were little fairies we cut off the brown ends of the reeds and played cigar smoking with them.  

Hier seht ihr das teils abgeerntete Ried-Feld vor unserer Mühle, dem Wahrzeichen Nordnorfolks. Das reife Ried gibt der Landschaft am Ende des Winters diesen angenehmen Braunton, “so wie auf einem vergilbten Foto“, meint Selma. Als kleine Feen haben wir die braunen Verdickungen am Ende des Rieds abgeschnitten und damit Zigarrenrauchen gespielt.

Cley04a

The Reed will be cut just above ground level. In former times this was done with a hook or scythe but now motorised reed cutters are used. These machines look like big lawn movers. And you wouldn’t believe it, our reed cutters work with a slightly converted Chinese rice cutting machine which does the job perfectly. But hook and scythe are still in use where the reed cutting machine cannot reach and one traditional reed cutter in our village still uses his hook only. 

Reedcutting_Cley

Das Ried wird kurz über dem Boden geschnitten. Früher benutzte man dafür einen scharfen Haken oder eine Sichel, heute wird eine Maschine eingesetzt. Sie gleicht einem großen Rasenmähern. Und wisst ihr, was das ursprünglich für eine Maschine war? Ihr glaubt es kaum: ein Reisernter aus China. Diese leicht umgebaute Maschine ist perfekt fürs Riedschneiden, aber dennoch werden auch noch Haken und Sichel benutzt, um an schwer zugänglichen Stellen zu ernten. In unserem Dorf gibt es noch einen freilich sehr traditionellen Riedschneider, der ausschließlich sein Ried mit der Sichel schneidet.

SSreedcutter

 We are proud being part of the local rural crafts with the reed cutters. We help them bundling the reeds, well, we keep them happy – as you see. By the way, how do you like our new hats? And that our beloved Dina pictured us liked in a winged altar as Saint Siri and Saint Selma has nothing to do with us, of course!

Seht ihr, wir helfen den beiden feschen Burschen beim Riedbündeln, naja, wir halten sie bei Laune. Dafür haben wir neue Hüte bekommen. Wie findet ihr die? Und dass uns die liebe Dina wie auf einem Flügelaltar fast schon als die Hl. Siri und die Hl. Selma setzt, “hat nix mit uns zu tun!

Now we’re off to our reed cutter boys again. Cheers
Nun müssen wir wieder zu unseren feschen Riedknaben😉 Tschüss
Siri and Selma

 

© text and illustrations by Hanne Siebers/Bonn and Klausbernd Vollmar/Cley, 2015

184 thoughts

    • I have many gardens, I KNOW what hard manual labor is like. No, I don’t know how hot it can be in those reeds. The only reference I have to it, is, when I was a child, I and my siblings used to play in a farmer’s field of corn. That was hot amongst the tall corn stalks. Love, Amy

      Liked by 1 person

    • Herzlichen Dank , lieber Wolfgang!
      Ein schönes Wochenende wünschen wir Vier euch in Vogtland. Bei uns zwitschern auch die Vögel jetzt.🙂
      Ihr habt es ja nicht so weit nach Tschechien wie wir, sonst wären wir auch in der Steckerlmühle …
      Beste Grüße,
      Dina, Klausbernd, Siri und Selma

      Like

    • Good morning, dear Sue,
      to cut the reeds and use it for fencing and thatching would actually have died out if not the EU would sponsor rural crafts. The reed cutting machine from China was bought with EU funds and so this custom survived. People who can thatch are very much asked for now and provides a nice income in times of dangerous seas.
      We wish you a relaxing weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Good to see the old skills and rural tradition still flourishing. It was very wet for reed-cutting today though!
    Thanks for the interesting article, and as always, excellent photos too.
    I found this photo. It dates from the 1970s but looks as if it was taken between the wars.

    Love and best wishes from Beetley. Pete and Ollie. X

    Liked by 5 people

    • Thank you, dear Pete. We love the new gravatar, Ollie looks smashing! What an adorable dog.🙂
      That’s a lovely photo you have inserted. Nostalgic, idyllic and with rural romantic mood. I have seen similar photos from the Broads.

      I know how to insert a photo in a comment on my own blog, but how on earth do you insert a photo on another blog? I’d be most grateful, if you’d explain the steps, Pete!
      Wishing you and yours a relaxing Norfolk weekend,
      best wishes from the Rhine Valley,
      Dina

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    • Good morning, dear Pete,
      thank you very much for this picture🙂 When we came here those scenes were “normal for Norfolk” in the very beginning of the eighties, at least in Cley. The reed cutting went down but it was revived by EU funds for rural arts. And as we answered Sue, people who can work with reeds are asked for nowadays because the art of thatching was nearly dying out and “green” fences made of bound reeds are in since they put some up at the Queen’s home in Sandringham.
      Great! your new gravatar🙂
      We wish you a relaxed weekend
      the Fab Four

      Like

    • I don’t think there is a definitive answer to this one Dina. I just pasted the EDP link into your comments box, and the photo migrated all by itself! Sometimes, only the link appears. You Tube links and Amazon links almost always appear as pictures or videos on other blogs too. I presume it is the system set up by the person managing the original picture or article, and whether or not they allow immediate transfer. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Glad you like Ollie’s new photo, it was taken by my friend Tony, and he is a good photographer. This is his site, currently under development. http://antonykyriacou.foliopic.com/. X

      Liked by 1 person

    • Well, now you have given us a good idea for a future post (thank you so much, Jean and Alex!), so unfortunately we can not reveal all the fine artistic work we have seen so far.🙂
      But of course, most of it goes to making fences, thatched roofs etc.
      (((((Hugs))))) back !
      Ha en god helg!🙂
      Dina and the rest of the gang

      Like

    • Dear Jean and Alex,
      I say “thanks!” as well.
      As Dina wrote, most of the reed is used for thatching. The romantic English cottage must be thatched, of course! And as we answered Pete, nowadays reed-fences are in. The reed cutters produce even fences with sophisticated patterns of interwoven reeds. And those fences don’t weather.
      I wish you a happy weekend
      Klausbernd🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you! We would love to see those woven reed fences. Fascinating! And thanks to Dina for teaching us a new word…”helg” = weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cindy
      thank you very much🙂
      We love these old, but unfortunately endangered traditions. But they seem to become fashionable again.
      We wish you a happy weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  2. Good capture of the old traditional ways and too see that they are still kept up. Like your descriptive text and the look of ‘old yellow paper’ and can imagine those creative fairies smoking reed cigars … by the way the straw hats are very stylish.

    Liked by 2 people

    • THANK YOU so much for liking our straw hats🙂🙂
      Love and fairy dust from
      Siri🙂 and Selma🙂
      If you walk the coast past or drive the coast road this time of the year you can see the reed cutters busy in the marshes at our coast. This tradition is quite strong still, well, with a little help from outside (the EU funds for rural crafts).
      Enjoy the weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi you 2 darling fairies,
    super! super! super!. Reminds me of when I was your age. The good old days in Mayo, Ireland watching the men thatching the roofs. Thanks to you both for awekening the memories and my best regards to Dina and Master for teraching you all these wonderful things!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi darling Joan,
      good to read from you, Siri and Selma 👭 were all excited to see your beautiful Irish gravatar here.🙂 🍀
      Have a wonderful last day in the South of France and an easy flight back home tomorrow.
      Hugs, Dina 💃
      lots of fayriedust from Siri and Selma ✨💫🌟💫✨ in Bonn
      and hugs from Klausbernd 🏃 in Cley too

      Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Amy
      it is hard work indeed. We didn’t exspect those reed bundles so heavy and the reeds are quite sharp edged, you cut yourself easily.
      Thanks, we wish you a happy weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  4. Wie hübsch die beiden Feen ausssehen in ihren Hüten. Ich muss immer noch lächeln, wenn ich daran denke, dass ich sie für eure Kinder gehalten habe als ich anfing, bei Euch zu lesen (damals waren die blogs noch getrennt) Heilig gesprochen werden sie bestimmt nicht, aber sie machen sich ausgesprochen gut neben den feschen Schnittern.🙂
    Ganz liebe Grüße von uns aus Thüringen,
    Marlis und Eva

    Liked by 2 people

    • Liebe Marlies und Eva,
      aber hallo, Siri und Selma sind unserer Kinder! Wir adoptierten sie aus dem Feenreich, da sie eh schon seit langem in unserer Bibliothek hedrumgeisterten und durch schelmisches Bücherverstellen auf sich aufmerksam machten. Eigentlich haben sie uns gesucht. Plötzlich, schwuppdiwupp, haben sie sich in meinen Roman “Tantes Tod” hineingezaubert und da waren sie auch schon bei Dina. So kamen die beiden liebklugen Kleinfeinfeen Sirir und Selma, ihres Zeichens Buchfeen, zu uns. Wenn das keine echten Kinder sind …
      Ganz liebe Grüße zurück nach Thüringen
      the Fab Four of Cley
      Nachtrag von Siri und Selma
      Danke, dass euch beiden unsere Bildchen gefallen. Nee, nix mit heilig – Feen und heilig, iiiiih, das ist wie Weihwasser und Teufel!
      Tschüss
      Siri🙂 und Selma🙂

      Like

    • Thank you so much for reblogging our work, Bo, it’s highly appreciated! Your photography is very impressive, we feel honoured by your attention!🙂
      Best regards, Dina

      Like

  5. Ein vergnüglicher Text mit ganz wunderbaren Fotos. Siri und Selma, sagt mal, mit Euren feschen Verbindungen … ähhhmm … wieviel kostet so ein Norfolk Rietdach? Die Hüte sind rattenscharf!🙂
    LG, Jürgen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Also, lieber Jürgen, ein Rieddach hält so um die 50 Jahre und isoliert bestens. Es kostet pro qm Dachfläche um die 110 €, wenn keine baulichen Besonderheiten dazukommen. Es gibt auch preiswertere Rieddeckungen, die jedoch erfahrungsgemäß nur 20 bis 30 Jahre halten. Teuer ist die Versicherung mit deren Brandschutzauflagen. Im ungüngstigsten Fall wird eine Sprinkleranlage verlangt.
      Klar, so ein thatched cottage sieht rattenscharf aus, ist urgemütlich und warm, aber eben teuer im Unterhalt (obwohl das Ried auf dem Dach gegen Brand präpariert wird).
      Ganz liebe Grüße aus Cley
      Klausbernd
      und aus Bonn der Rest der Meschpoke

      Like

  6. Great to see that the precious rural tradition and the skilled craft is till alive and doing well! Love your new hats, Siri and Selma – as well as your green wellis!🙂 Have a great weekend, you Fab Four.
    It’s too cold in Stockholm for my stuga, we still have winter. We’ll have to wait another month before we can say goodbye to winter and hello to spring …
    BTW, I spoke to Per Magnus last week, -shivering 20° in Spitsbergen, another three months of winter up there.😉
    Kram, Annalena x

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, dear Annalena
      you made Siri and Selma so happy liking their hats and wellies🙂
      Spring has arrived here, the first daffodils are out, the migrating birds are back and we have up to 16 degrees C and lots of sun. We didn’t had anything which came near to what you would call winter this year.
      Lots of Love
      KRAM ###
      the Fab Four of Cley xxx

      Like

  7. Dina…Forwarded your Reed Cutting to friends from Wokingham and St. Margarets who travelled and spent our weeks holiday together in Salthouse and Blakeney a year ago. So many fond memories. Thank you so much…just giving me once again a taste of two weeks of being with lovely friends in your lovely part of the world. Remember….a promise…next time in Cley we’ll meet up for a coffee with you and Klaus! And…the girls, of course! Raye

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Raye! We greatly appreciate that forwarded the Reed Cutting.
      Give us a shout when you are in Norfolk and we’ll put the kettle on!🙂
      Have a lovely weekend,
      best regards from the Four of us,
      Dina & Co 💃🏃👭

      Like

    • Ab hallo, die liebe Dina schiebt mir die Erklärung zu …
      Also zuerst kannst du mal bitte lesen, was wir zu Siri und Selma als unsere Kinder weiter oben (wederwill Kommentar) antworteten. Also Siri und Selma sind Dinas und Masterchens Kinder, die (nicht immer😉 ) liebkluge Buchfeen sind. Sie sind Zwillinge und wohnen in unserem Buchregal auf Regalbrett 3 und 4, wo sie ihre Kuschelbettchen haben und auf ihren McFees die Blogartikel schreiben. Dabei ist Siri mehr für das Wort und Selma mehr für das Bild zuständig.
      Alles klar?
      Liebe Grüße
      the Fab Four

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    • Dear Vicki
      these traditions are kept on with EU funds sponsoring rural crafts. With this little help they are doing quite well and surely will survive for quite a while. As reed cutting was dying out the few who stayed in the business are doing well.
      Thanks a lot
      Enjoy the weekend
      the Fab Four

      Like

  8. Selma’s hat looks like the one I brought back from Australia🙂 [ she really ought to look in the mirror though when she puts her lippy on ]
    Lovely post fab four, have a good weekend. We’re off to meet our new granddaughter tomorrow. Hugs all round ((( )))
    Jude xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Jude,
      well, well Selma and her lipstick … A secret: she uses it to draw and paint and it’s more like a brush but she doesn’t mind.
      We wish you a happy time with your granddaughter🙂
      With big HUGs
      the Fab Four xx

      Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Tag, liebe Veronica,
      ja, Ried wird immer noch geerntet, da sowohl neue Dächer mit Ried gedeckt, als auch alte ausgebessert werden. Da Ried so gemütlich wirkt und romantische Assoziationen erzeugt, ist es wieder beliebt. Allerdings nur, wenn man sich es leisten kann, da ein riedgedecktes Cottage teuer zu versichern ist.
      With a big HUG xxx
      the Fab Four

      Like

  9. Liebe Hanne, lieber Klausbernd und liebe Feen, das sind sehr schöne Fotos und sie passen bis auf das erste vollständig auf meinen Bildschirm. Ich denke, viel mehr Menschen würden ihre Häuser mit Ried eindecken, wenn die Hausversicherung für Ried gedeckte Häuser nicht so teuer wären.
    Hier in Berlin scheint die Sonne und ich werde den Tag mit Zeichnen beginnen.
    Einen schönen Freitag wünscht euch Susanne

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi, liebe Susanne,
      liebe Grüße vom Meer.
      Ja, hier ist’s genauso: Es ist teuer ein riedgedecktes Haus zu versichern.
      Über das Fotoformat wird dir sicher noch Dina schreiben. Ich habe keine Ahnung, wie das bei WP mit der Bildschirmanpassung geht.
      Wir wünschen dir ein wunderbares Wochenende
      Klausbernd aus Cley
      und der Rest der Meschpoke aus Bonn

      Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s a great tribute to the reed cutter tradition. You are lucky to be part of it, right in the middle of your small village. It makes Cley and North Norfolk even more special. Is the Norfolk North Sea very rough in winter? In Norway we have a seriously rough sea at times, but the fishermen still go out.
    Ha en god helg!
    Klem, Hjerter❤
    Please keep your fingers crossed for Norway, it's Skiing World Championship in Falun, Sweden!🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Hjerter,
      GRATULATION! You did well at the Skiing World Championship in Falun, very well so far!🙂
      The sea is unpredictable in winter here and can be quite rough. It’s open sea, between our beach and the Arctic shelf ice there is nor more land. The women keep their fishermen away from the sea. “No sex if go out in winter!” was normal. Nowadays nobody goes out in the winter, well, they do their reed cutting instead.
      We go on crossing our fingers
      Lots of Love xxx
      the Fab Four ooo

      Like

  11. Die Reeternte habe ich hier in der Region noch nicht beobachten können. So ist das eben, wenn man in der Stadt lebt. Die reetgedeckten Häuser bewundere ich aber immer wieder. Sie haben einen ganz eigenen, gemütlichen Charme! Liebe Grüße und ein wundervolles Wochenende!😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • Das Ried wird nur noch in einigen wenigen Gegenden geerntet. Die Kunst des Deckens der Dächer mit Ried ist nur noch so wenig verbreitet, dass Gruppen von hier nach Norddeutschland und in die Niederlande fahren, um Häuser zu decken. Wir lieben diese kuscheligen “thatched cottages” auch sehr!🙂
      Auch dir ein wunderbares Wochenende und liebe Grüße
      the Fab Four

      Like

  12. Are Siri and Selma flirting with the reedcutters? Everybody looks happy about it! I love that you’re honoring this traditional craft and that it’s still occurring regularly. And I’ll welcome any sign of spring at this point!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Kerry,
      reed cutting is a sign of “the beginning of the end of winter”. But it has nearly come to an end for this season and spring is beginning with the first daffodils being out, the migrating birds are back and it’s warm and sunny. We will send the spring to you as well, just wait and see …
      We wish you a wonderful weekend with lots of signs of spring
      the Fab Four

      Like

    • Dear Pia
      the reed has to be harvested otherwise the channels will silt. We are taking away to make place for new reeds, a natural cycle. In former times it was burnt. Harvesting is a taking away, but this taking away strengthens the growth. So taking is giving at the same time, isn’t it?
      Lots of love
      the Fab Four

      Like

    • Good morning,
      thanks for liking our straw hats🙂🙂 They are real straw hats made of straw. The reeds are too ridgid and heavy for hats.
      Fortunately the last ends of winters were quite dry like this year and sunny. Then it’s still hard work but easier. When it’s wet the reed beds are like swamps and it needs a lot of strength to manoeuvre this heavy reed cutting machine.
      We wish you a sunny weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Maren,
      das ist aber toll!🙂 Wir sehen es als unsere Aufgabe als Buchfeen, gute Laune zu schaffen, sozusagen die (fast unerträgliche) Leichtigkeit des Seins zu vermitteln, die wir schon als Flatterwesen ausdrücken.
      Wir wünschen dir ein famos-fröhliches (wir lieben diese Alliterationen🙂 ) Wochenende
      the Fab Four
      und besonders herzlichen Dank von
      Siri und Selma

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting post! Do you have many thatchted cottages in Cley?
    If you should ever com to our island Læsø in Denmark, make sure you have a look at Hedvigs hus, it’s thatched with seaweed:

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Bille,
      unfortunately we have hardly any thatched cottages left in Cley. It’s too expensive to insure them. A landmark is a thatched cottage in Blakeney (the next village down the coast) situated on hill overlooking the sea.
      Thank you very much for this picture of Hedvigs hus. I never heard of thatching with seaweed before. Looks quite surreal, like the cottage of the sea witch. Siri and Selma immediately fell in love with it🙂🙂
      Have a happy weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  14. Guten Tag Ihr Lieben in Cley, sehr schön, dass Ihr uns einmal über die alten Traditionen in Eurer Gegend geschrieben und photografiert habt. Auch die neuen, gutaussehende Hüte von Selma und Siri habe ich natürlich bemerkt. Nun hoffe ich, die Arbeit ist getan und Ihr könnt Euch erholen! Liebe Grüsse Martina

    Liked by 1 person

    • Guten Morgen, liebe Martina,
      bevor wir nun im Garten verschwinden, sagen wir herzlichen Dank für deinen Kommentar.
      Ja, die Arbeit ist getan, dieses Jahr um einiges früher als sonst, da hier der Winter sehr mild war und sein Ende sehr sonnig und warm ist. Aber nun ist unser Garten dran, und wenn’s so weiter geht, befürchten wir gar, dass wir bald unseren Rasenmäher aus seinem Winterschlaf erlösen müssen.
      Liebe Grüße aus Norfolk und genieße das Wochenende
      the Fab Four

      Liked by 1 person

  15. … “Harvesting is a taking away, but this taking away strengthens the growth. So taking is giving at the same time, isn’t it?” … quoting Klausbernd. Couldn’t have said it any better!🙂
    Somehow the financial support for this rural craft strengthens my belief in the EU.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Thank you very much, dear John, for your kind words 🙂
    Without EU funds this area of the North Norfolk coast couldn’t be kept as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. EU funds are not only used for sponsoring traditional rural crafts but for landscape protection as well as for protection of the wildlife, esp. birds and seals. England without the EU would be a much poorer country. I could write a long argument against UKIP here but, well, that’s another topic …
    Just a quick idea: Isn’t it a hallmark of sustainability that every taking is a giving? At least it’s an ideal.
    Love
    Klausbernd and the rest of the gang

    Like

  17. Hello! We took a video of this (and maybe you?) on our walk the other day! Hard work. Have you seen Rachael Lockewood’s exhibit in the Pinkfoot gallery on this subject?

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Wonderful images and a real joy to read. It is so great to see that small businesses like this can still prosper in such hard times as this and that the EU can offer funding to ensure we do not lose traditions and skills like this. Hope you all have a great week ahead.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. I’ve known of Norfolk reeds since childhood and have obviously seen many examples of their use in thatching but, as usual, the post contains much information that was new to me. The photos provide excellent support.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you very much, dear Tina🙂
      Well, reed cutting is getting more and more popular again after it had nearly died out. The sponsoring of the EU helps.
      We wish you a great week
      The Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  20. Dina, the header and the second image are just wonderful! Great post, loved to learn more about the craft and tradition.
    Wishing you all a good new week!
    Sarah

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good morning, dear Sarah,
      thank you very much for your kind words.
      Nowadays is reed is not only used for thatching but for fencing as well. The fences sometimes show sophisticated patterns of interwoven reeds.
      We wish you a good week as well
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  21. P.S.
    my comment went off before I had the chance to say how much I appreciated the reading and the lovely new outfits of the girls. Siri and Selma, you look “fesch”!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, dear Sarah,
      thank you so much🙂🙂 Yes, we look “fesch” (jaunty), don’t we?! These are our favourite outfits.
      All the best
      Siri and Selma, best dressed Bookfairies🙂🙂

      Like

    • Hallihallo, lieber Pit im fernen Texas,
      hier schreiben Siri und Selma. Toll, dass du unsere neuen Hüte magst. Wir finden sie z.Zt. voll schick!
      Wir beide senden dir und Mary gaaaanz liebe Grüße vom sonnigen Norfolk.
      Macht’s gut ihr beiden
      Siri und Selma, die bestbehuteten Buchfeen in Netz🙂🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • Dear Thorsaurus,
      you are right, in the 17th century most of the English houses were thatched and those thatched roofs helped the big fires to spread. Dry reeds easily catch fire and therefore today all the reeds which go onto the roof are impregnated against fire. It’s a pity in a way, one cannot avoid chemicals otherwise one can’t insure the house or cottage.
      Thank you very much🙂
      We wish you an easy week
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  22. Great views from Cley this time! This is interesting, last year friends of ours in Weimar built a house and primarily wanted a thatched cottage. The reed would have to be imported as in Germany reed growing areas are on the wane and they are only made use of as sidelines. For instance, in 1922, the reed areas to the west of the Weser were 50 % larger than they are today. The crop yield of the reed harvest cannot by far satisfy the demand from house builders and thatchers, which leads to an increased import of reed.
    Ha en fin dag!🙂
    Per Magnus

    Liked by 2 people

    • Good morning, dear Per Magnus,
      thank you very much for this information. You wouldn’t believe it but reeds from Cley are exported to Germany and The Netherlands and quite often the reed cutters just travel with their reeds to thatch the roofs abroad. The reeds are a nuisance besides their practical value because they grow into the channels and make the waterways smaller and smaller. This weekend we have big action to dig up the Cley channel at the mill to make it easier to go in and out by boat. Oh dear, this will be hard work …
      Ha en fin dag.
      KLEM xxx
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, dear Joan🙂
      the “good old way of life” becomes in again. The holiday makers and tourists want a genuine surrounding for their holidays cottages by the sea, that means reed fences and a thatched cottages. Everything that’s “normal for Norfolk” is asked for, it’s fashionable because it’s Norfolk … And that’s the positive side of fashion, it keeps the traditional rural crafts going on.
      Wishing you a happy week
      Lots of love
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Like

    • Dear Elisa,
      thank you very much🙂
      This second picture was taken looking to the “George and the Dragon”-hotel and restaurant in Cley next the sea. We are happy that you like Dina’s photograph🙂
      Have a happy day
      the Fab 4 of Cley

      Liked by 2 people

  23. Also Hüte mag ich persönlich nicht so sehr😉 aber euch beiden stehen sie passend zu euren Kleidern und Schürzen schon sehr gut. Auch dieser schöne Beitrag über die Schilfernte im Ried passt ausgezeichnet dazu. Liebe Grüsse Ernst

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, vielen lieben Dank für das feine Kompliment, Ernst! Darüber haben sich Siri und Selma sehr gefreut. Sie sind gar nicht so umeitel wie sie manchmal tun!😉
      Es freut uns alle Vier, dass dir der Beitrag gut gefallen hat. Mich beeindruckt diese Arbeit jeden Winter. Das schöne sit, es findet mitten im Ort statt und es ist ein Teil vom Ganzen. Das macht den Zauber des Ortes aus. Finde ich.
      Ein schönes kommendes Wochenende,
      Dina, Klausbernd, Siri & Selma xo

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wenn ich doch nur nicht so dumm wäre…muss das alles nachschlagen……
      Dabei war gerade Thementag Rom auf 3sat!
      Heute bin ich schön, war beim Friseur, dort las ich in “Tanz” (habe ich mir von Zuhause mitgenommen) Cover: Die 2 goldenen Frauen von Kylian. Heute hätte ich die “Brigitte” oder die “Vital” oder die “Capital” nicht ertragen!
      Herzliche Grüße nach Bonn und Cley und zu den entzückenden Buchfeen

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Dank, liebe Pia,
    die Grüße werde ich ausrichten! Siri und Selma sind gerade ausgeflogen. Die inspizieren und lassen sich inspirieren von den ganzen öffentlichen Bücherschränken in Bonn, so etwas gibt es in England nicht. Habt ihr einen öffentlichen Bücherschrank in der Nähe? Oder kennst du jemand der einen offenen Bücherregal in seinem Studio, Praxis, Geschäft oder sonstwo hat? Hast du Erfahrungen damit?
    Herzliche Grüße aus dem grauen Rheinland,
    Hanne
    und viel güldener Feenhauch von S&S!🙂

    Like

    • Liebe Hanne, früher liebte ich die Vorstellung, dass man bei mir einfach ganz viele Bücher ausleihen kann, nicht nur Körper sondern auch Geist geschult wird….(so viele Bücher nur für mich!)
      Die geben ja aber die Bücher nicht zurück, bald hätte ich den Überblick verloren.
      Nach eurem Besuch hier, haben wir alle Bücher jetzt im Flur versammelt, sieht ordentlich aus, könnte man so anbieten als Bibliothek. Da bräuchte ich eine Liste…könnte ich mal Kim fragen, die eine Ausbildung zur Bibliothekarin macht…ratter…ratter….
      Herzliche Grüße! ..und Danke für den goldenen Fernhauch, kann ich gut gebrauchen….

      Liked by 1 person

    • Das ist ärgerlich, megaärgerlich, wenn man die Bücher nicht zu schätzen und würdigen weiß. Und den Eigentum anderer. Ich habe soooo viele Bücher ausgeliehen, oft waren es Schätze, die ich besonders gelobt habe und die mir große Lesefreude bereitet hat – auf nimmerwiedersehen waren sie fort.
      Wir haben gerade sehr viel freudige Arbeit mit der Bibliothek, die wird ständig erweitert und ausgebaut, jaja, so ist das mit Buchfeen unter dem gleichen Dach.🙂
      Wir Vier wünschen euch eine schönes Wochenende, gute Entspannung, liebe Pia.❤

      Like

    • We agree, you made the point: For us Europeans it’s important to combine traditions with the modern world – there is the spirit of Renaissance still active in everyone – well, nearly everyone.
      It is a constant discussion here in the nature reserve how to keep the traditions going and care for nature on one hand and on the other hand to combine this with a modern life. Of course, we have fast internet here (and fast cars as well🙂 ). And it’s amazing we live here surrounded here by scriptwriters, authors, directors and many scientist from Cambridge. They are those people who moved in but they are active to keep village life and traditions going. Maybe that’s dialectic: Those people who coin the (post)modern world are those people who save traditions.
      Thanks a lot
      The Fab Four of Cley

      Like

    • Dear Hans,
      maybe you live too far north for these reeds?
      I just read that these reeds were know as Sekhet-Aaru to the old Egyptians, who harvested and used them too. But I couldn’t find how far North they go. We’ll tell you, if we find infos.
      Takk og ha en fin dag
      Klausbernd and the rest of the gang🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. I just came back from a few days near the Norfolk Broads, the first visit since my childhood. It is such a glorious place. Your blog seems to capture that special something I noticed while there. Lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Rachel,
      thank you very much for your praise🙂 we are very happy about! We love to live here🙂🙂🙂🙂
      You were quite wise visiting the Norfolk Broads in the winter. It’s very touristy nowadays during the summer months. The boats are queuing and tourists are everywhere. It has changed a lot especially in the last 20 years but nevertheless it’s a beautiful area of Norfolk not far from where we live.
      We wish you a sunny weekend
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Liked by 1 person

  26. This looks a lot more difficult than crabbing ~ but then again, crabbing & fishing are extremely difficult as well (I’d just prefer to be on the water instead of land). This is fascinating to see how the old culture is still alive and well in Norfolk, and how difficult but also rewarding such a life is giving & taking from Mother Earth and building such a noble life🙂 The photos of have of Norfolk here and in your other posts (the crabbing one for instance) reminds me a bit of my home town during harvest season…a great sense of community. Wishing you all a great harvest… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dalo,
      yeah, we had a great reed harvest this season, thank you. Yesterday the whole village cut and burned the last reeds near the waterways. It was more like a village fete than hard work😉
      To live in such a natural and social surroundings is very rewarding and nearly all the people who moved here did it because they love this nature. On the other hand we can try to live a modern life in harmony with nature because we can afford it. The North Norfolk coast is one of the richest areas in the UK.
      All the best
      Cheers
      the Fab Four of Cley

      Liked by 1 person

  27. What a cool post! I love that this old tradition is still being kept alive. Would love to see some pictures of how the fencing and thatching looks like with the reed. Is it used for residential homes as well? It reminds me about how my grandfather used to do the annual harvest. He used to cut the grass with a scythe and it was hanged up to dry before it was put in the barn and used for feed for his bulls over the winter. The whole family usually helped with the harvest as it was very labour intensive.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s strange but around here you find the reed but you hardly find thatched cottages.
      Thatching was mostly used for residential homes and in some areas of England, like in the South, it still is.
      In the times of your grandmother the reed was also cut with a scythe and the whole village was helping.
      Thanks and all the best
      The Fab Four of Cley

      Like

  28. It’s good to see rural crafts still managing to survive in the modern world. Fortunately something like this will probably keep going a while longer as there is a requirement from English Heritage that listed thatched buildings continue to be thatched with traditional materials. I guess there’ll come a time when the dreaded ‘health & safety’ and insurance will manage to kill it off – probably to be replaced with some toxic plastic alternative! Do I sound a little cynical?!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Noeline,
      we like your name Noeline🙂
      Well, there is already the insurance problem with thatched roofs. And we Bookfayries are so afraid too that indeed “health and safty” and the insurances will kill real thatched roofing. The reed has already be chemically prepared. On the other hand it is in having a real thatched roof.
      Thanks for commenting and have an easy week
      The Fab Four of Cley
      By the way a little cynism is like the salt in the soup😉

      Like

  29. Pingback: The New Cley Visitor Centre | The World according to Dina

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