New thatch for the roof

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Thatched roofs are one of those delightful treasures that you don’t see in the Dales all too often these days.

The romantic ideal of living in a thatched cottage undoubtedly lives on amongst many people, though, as it provides a symbol of a simpler, more traditional lifestyle.

This photograph shows third generation roof thatcher George Mellor, of Cromford, busy at work doing what he loved best.

Apparently, George never wanted to do anything else for a living and his order book was generally full three years ahead – even at £1,300 for a small cottage.

It took two men ten hours to thatch 100 feet – known as a thatcher’s square – at £85 per square, and a small cottage roof was generally twelve squares.