Thatchers from around East Anglia have shown their solidarity and support for a fellow professional who broke his back when he fell from a house he was working on in Coney Weston.
Well-known Hoxne-based thatcher Graham Borrill, 55, is recovering after his fall about three weeks ago, but is said to be making “surprisingly good” progress, and is on the “road to the recovery”, according to friend Dominic Meek.
Mr Meek, 44, of Walpole, said he had known Mr Borrill since he entered the profession himself 20 years ago, and that a great camaraderie existed between the close knit thatching community across the region.
And on Wednesday, thatchers from across the area came together to the house where self-employed Mr Borrill fell to complete the job this week.
“Everybody loves Graham,” he told the Diss Express. “He really is a proper character and a real well-known face around Suffolk. He is a really old-school guy and a really good character.
“He is a very upbeat person, and incredibly hard-working and talented, and always has the time of day for everybody.
He is a very upbeat person, and incredibly hard-working and talented, and always has the time of day for everybodyDominic Meek
“He’s very well liked, so as soon as they had heard he had come off the roof, people very quickly rallied together and I thought I would try and get everybody together on one day.”
“Everybody I phoned said yes.”
Those helping Mr Meek complete the work include Boz Willows, of Diss, Stephen Letch, Starston, James Ball and Chris Hepworth, both Laxfield, Freddie Willows, Ubbeston, Eoin Fitzgerald, Eye, Keith Dunthorne, Wortham, and John Senior, of Norwich.
“It has been really, really good and really enjoyable,” added Mr Meek.
“Everybody has been in good spirits and everybody has been getting on well together, and it has been nice to catch up.
“All things considered, from Graham’s point of view, it is good we are working together in this way, as it is not something we do very often.”
Mr Borrill was the subject of a feature in the Diss Express in November 2015.
He learned his trade under the tutelage of another Hoxne thatcher, Guy Jolly, in the 1970s.
Speaking in November, he told the Diss Express: “Guy taught me to thatch, but when you are young you think differently and I didn’t want to be a thatcher.
“I went into long-distance lorry driving as soon as I could, and did that for 17 years.
“But I never let thatching go completely and as I got a little bit older, by chance I bought a thatched house.”
By the mid to late 1980s, Mr Borrill was a full time thatcher.