Shaun Branch was employed by the Ewelme Village Hall Management Committee to re-thatch the roof of the Victorian Reading Room that adjoins the slightly more modern Village Hall. As a committee we wanted to wait until the last possible moment to replace the thatch and that time came shortly before Christmas 2015 when there was a severe chance of water coming through the remaining - rather thin - thatch.

The scaffolding was erected and Shaun started by delivering the new thatch and removing the very tired thatch to the rear of the Reading Room. He was a reliably solid worker who braved all the elements known to man – high winds, pouring rain and very cold temperatures. He remained cheerful and always approachable. When the back was completed he turned his attention to the front which is alongside the main road through the village. He worked smoothly and well and I only wish I had been given a fiver when stopped by passers-by who told me what an excellent job Shaun was making of the Reading Room!

His attention to detail with the ridge and the general finishing touches were good to see and the finished article is brilliant. Thank you Shaun. He even managed to cope with invoices being paid by the Management Committee (two thirds of the final bill) and the Parish Council who had been saving £1000 a year for 7 years in the ‘thatch fund’.

When our thatch needs tidying or replacing in future years, we know who to call upon – Shaun Branch the Master Thatcher!

Peter Lemaire, Chairman of the Village Hall and the Parish Council.