Added on March 5, 2006
Barney Bardsley started thatching in 1976 and spent four years learning the craft with a team of thatchers in East Berkshire. In1980 he set up his own business, based near Newbury. Barney was a founder member of the Oxon, Berks, and Bucks Master Thatchers’ Association (OBBMTA) When it was reformed in 1980, serving first as Vice Chairman and subsequently as Chairman.
In 1987, the OBBMTA along with nine other county based Master Thatchers ‘ Associations helped form the National Council of Master Thatchers’ Associations (NCMTA) to deal with matters concerning the thatching industry at a national level. For many years, Barney was the OBBMTA representative in the NCMTA.
At present Barney is the OBBMTA representative on both the Thatching Standards Committee and the Occupational Working Group on Thatching. With the help of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB), these two bodies are formulating an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) in thatching. NVQ levels 2 and 3 are now up and running.
Away from work, Barney enjoys woodturning and is one of a small co-operative, which runs a local craft gallery where some of his output is displayed and sold. The woodturning is also a handy and pleasant way of providing birthday and Christmas presents for friends and family!
Barney also plays guitar in a local Barn Dance band, “Sensible Shoes” with his wife Mig who plays the fiddle. They perform at local functions, weddings, parties and the like.
They have three children and four grandchildren and a cat.
They do not live in a thatched cottage on the premise that “the cobblers’ children are worst shod” and so the Thatcher’s roof might not be the best advertisement for his own work!